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review 2015-12-19 00:54
What does it mean to be human?
Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder

It's an international bestseller which for some reason I had never heard of until suddenly I found it on my library holds list (I don't remember placing it there but I guess one night I was cruising the library website half asleep). It's translated into English from Norwegian so that might be why it caught my eye (Remember my obsession with Swedish translations? I'm branching out.) or it could be because it's a book on philosophy. I had little to no knowledge about the great philosophers of the past or even what it meant to be a philosopher. I can happily say that is no longer the case. Not only did I learn about it but I experienced what it means to think philosophically...and I may have had an existential crisis as a result. The book starts out with Sophie who discovers a letter in her mailbox asking her questions such as "Who are you?".  It snowballs into packets of lecture notes and suddenly she finds herself enrolled in a philosophy course with a professor who prefers to remain hidden. I don't want to give any more away because it's better to experience it for yourself. I guarantee you'll be scratching your head and asking "Who am I?" by the end.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2015-06-08 07:35
Sophie's World
Sophie's World - Nancy Rue

This is my favorite book and probably the best in the series. The start of the book is a little confusing, but after a few chapters it's easier to understand. I love the parts when Sophie is in her imaginary world. Anyway, I highly recommend this story to all girls ages 9-13.

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review 2014-02-12 14:00
Sophie's World
Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy - Jostein Gaarder,Paulette Møller

Original Title: Sofies Verden

 

This book is a summary of Western Philosophy starting at the Early Greek Philosophers (let's say Pre-Socrates) and ending with the modern philosophers. Luckily, this book reads mostly like a novel.

 

I really liked the beginning of the book. I happen to have had a class on Pre-Socratic philosophy, as part of my Greek lessons, and I think that after a year I got the vision of Heraklitus cum suis clear. So it was most interesting to read about it in this book.

In this part it still is a story you're reading.

 

After Socrates, Plato and Aristotle it's only a short way to 'modern' philosophy, starting at Descartes. (I also happen to have had a class on the 'philosophy and introduction of ethics' where the professor just couldn't shut up about Descartes, and after very few words on Kant and Nietzsche moved on to Freud, another person he really liked to talk about) But at some point during the (I think it's was the 19th century philosophers) I got lost. As the philosophy becomes weirder (as in like 'what if we're not real, but just live in the imagination of someone else'), the story also takes a turn down that path, and it turns barely understandable. The sense of reading a novel gets lost as well. It left me confused. (Though I really liked the first part)

 

Note: I read a Dutch translation of this book

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