kode adsense disini
Hot Best Seller

Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy

Availability: Ready to download

One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home to find two notes in her mail asking, "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" which lead her to ponder the great questions of Western philosophy. Before she knows it, she is enrolled in a correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre and beyond, with a mysterious philosopher. But Sophie is receiving a se One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home to find two notes in her mail asking, "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" which lead her to ponder the great questions of Western philosophy. Before she knows it, she is enrolled in a correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre and beyond, with a mysterious philosopher. But Sophie is receiving a separate batch of equally unusual letters. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up in Sophie's world? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must make use of the philosophy she is learning. But the truth is far more complicated than she could have imagined...


Compare
kode adsense disini

One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home to find two notes in her mail asking, "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" which lead her to ponder the great questions of Western philosophy. Before she knows it, she is enrolled in a correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre and beyond, with a mysterious philosopher. But Sophie is receiving a se One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home to find two notes in her mail asking, "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" which lead her to ponder the great questions of Western philosophy. Before she knows it, she is enrolled in a correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre and beyond, with a mysterious philosopher. But Sophie is receiving a separate batch of equally unusual letters. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up in Sophie's world? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must make use of the philosophy she is learning. But the truth is far more complicated than she could have imagined...

30 review for Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Ebaid

    I have started reading the English translation then I compared it to two other Arabic ones, and that was confusing as GOD, then I scheduled it again and again بدأت القراءة في نسخة الترجمة الإنجليزية لأن أحدهم أفاد بأن الترجمة العربية سيئة، ثم قلت لنفسي "بلاش انجليزي أنا مش قد كدا"، وتراجعت للعربية ثم رجعت للإنجليزية من جديد. "Thus was the confusing inside me - هكذا كان الصراع بداخلي" وهكذا ضُرب علي الذل وتم تأجيل القراءة عدة مرات!... أولاً، بجانب الترجمة الإنجليزية، فالكتاب كان متاح لي بترجمتين مختل I have started reading the English translation then I compared it to two other Arabic ones, and that was confusing as GOD, then I scheduled it again and again بدأت القراءة في نسخة الترجمة الإنجليزية لأن أحدهم أفاد بأن الترجمة العربية سيئة، ثم قلت لنفسي "بلاش انجليزي أنا مش قد كدا"، وتراجعت للعربية ثم رجعت للإنجليزية من جديد. "Thus was the confusing inside me - هكذا كان الصراع بداخلي" وهكذا ضُرب علي الذل وتم تأجيل القراءة عدة مرات!... أولاً، بجانب الترجمة الإنجليزية، فالكتاب كان متاح لي بترجمتين مختلفتين بالعربية: ترجمة "حياة الحويك"، وترجمة "أحمد لطفي". وبالمقارنة بين الكتابين كان الآتي: - الثلاث ترجمات يحتوين على أخطاء في الترجمة، ولكن الأخطاء أكثر في الترجمات العربية؛ نتيجة أن الكتب لم تراجع. ومع ذلك فالأخطاء في ترجمة "الحويك" عددها محدود نوعاً ما، مقارنة بأخطاء أحمد لطفي العديدة. - أسلوب السرد مختلف تماماً "أحمد لطفي" يسترسل في عباراته أكتر من الترجمة الإنجليزية، وعبارات الحويك بسيطة وموجزة عن الترجمة الإنجليزية. "حويك" سردت الكتاب بأسلوبها، واعترفت بهذا ضمنياً عندما استبدلت لفظة "المترجم" لـ "النص العربي بواسطة"، وهذا ما سبب فرق واضح في عدد الصفحات، بواقع 130 صفحة زائدة في ترجمة "أحمد لطفي" عن ترجمة "الحويك". فوجب التنبيه على أن ترجمة "الحويك" ليست ناقصة، بل وعلى النقيض، فترجمة لطفي ناقصة تعمداً من المترجم!!. فنجد "لطفي" يستهل مقدمته بأنه قد أعطى لنفسه الحق في استئصال ومحو كل ما هو مخالف لثقافتنا المحلية، على حد رؤيته بالطبع تقريبا نستطيع اعتبار أن ترجمته هي نسخه "حلال" من الرواية!. ولكن هذا الخيار "الحلال" متاح لفئة "المسلمين الوسطيين" فقط، وهي الفئة التي ترعاها الدولة والأزهر. فإذا كنت تنتهج أحد المذاهب الأكثر انفتاحا فستشعر بأن الرواية ناقصة يلازمها العوار طوال قراءتك لها. وإن كان نهجك أكثر تشددا بتراث السلف، فهذه الترجمة لن تقل كفراً عن ترجمة "الحويك"، بل ستعطيك ترجمة "الحويك" نظرة أكثر شمولية عن تطور الفكر الغربي ومدى كفره، فيصبح لديك حصيلة أكبر من الأسباب التي تبرر لك عدم مثاليتهم، وهذه خطوة نحو حلمك، كأي سلفي، بأن تصبح طالب علم ناجح!. - ترجمة "حياة الحويك" لديها نقطة إيجابية إضافية على ترجمة "أحمد لطفي"، وهي أن ترجمتها متناسقة جدا، ونصوصها سلسة أقرب ما تكون لنص لغته الأصلية العربية منها لكلمات مترجمة. جيدة جداً لغويا. وكان القرار النهائي لخطة القراءة كالآتي: بما أنه في كل الأحوال تحتوي الترجمتان العربيتان على غلطات في الترجمة، ولكن ترجمة "الحويك" أجمل، و تعتبر ترجمة أمينة؛ فقراءتي اعتمدت بشكل أساسي على ترجمة "الحويك"، وعند بعض الجمل التي أستشعر بأنها ليست مضبوطة، أو غير مستساغة لسوء الترجمة، فأبحث عنها في ترجمة "لطفي"، ثم أرجع لاستئناف القراءة من ترجمة "الحويك" مرة ثانية. ولقد وجدت أن الأخطاء ليست بهذا القدر الكبير من الجسامة أو الوضوح، فمن الممكن أن تنهي قراءة الكتاب دون الشعور بوجود أية أخطاء في ترجمة "الحويك" وطبعا لو أنك ترى أن "الحلال أجمل"، أو تخاف على مشاعرك من أن تُجرحها هرطقات خارجة عن قوانين قبيلتنا، بغض النظر عن جودة النص الذي معك، فقشطة عادي، دوس في ترجمة أحمد لطفي على طول. أنا وضحت الفروق بين الترجمتين، وكلٌ حرٌ في اختياره. ** نقاط أخرى عن الرواية وبدون حرق للأحداث: - أناس كثر يفتهمون الفلسفة بطريقة مغلوطة؛ فالفلسفة ليست شجاراً بين "ماركس" و"هيجل" على أشياء غير مفهومة وليس لها قيمة. الفلسفة هي منهاج لرؤية الحياة وفهمها، وفي هذا الكتاب ستعرف كيف كان الأولين يرون الحياة، وكيفية تطور هذه النظرة بمرور العصور. - إذا فتحت أي برنامج حواري في التلفاز ولو لمرة واحدة في حياتك ع الأقل، فأكيد أن أحد الأفكار التي قيلت فيه قد وردت في هذا الكتاب بالضرورة؛ فالفكر الأصولي عندنا مؤثر على شتى النواحي تقريبا، ومازال يُقْتَبَس من الأقدمين باعتبارهم عاشوا خير القرون. - لو انك تنتوي القراءة في أي كتب علمية لاحقا، فستجد الأفكار التي شرحت هنا بتفصيل، تسرد هناك بدون أي شرح أو مقدمات، على اعتبار أنها بديهيات يعرفها كل محب للعلم، وقرأ عنها بالضرورة!. وهذا الكتاب هو أفضل مقدمة في الفلسفة بدون منازع، فشرحه مرتب وسهل، ولا يتطرق سوى للأساسيات. رغم أن "راسل" يرى أن البدء في الفلسفة بقراءة تاريخها بهذه الطريقة هو جريمة ومصادرة للفكر والتأمل، ولكن معظمنا غير متاح له رفاهية تعلّم الفلسفة بطريقة نظامية، وغلبة الناس لا يستهويهم تأمل الحياة المحض إلى هذا الحد المجهد! ** "الفيلسوف هو الشخص الذي لم يفقد القدرة على الاندهاش من العالم" عموما، فقراءة أول فصلين من الرواية، التي تعتبر مقدمتها، كفيلة بإخبارك إذا كنت فيلسوفا أم لا، وإذا كنت ستكمل الكتاب أم ستنفره!. The vast of majority of people having a wrong idea about Philosophy. Philosophy is not a non-sense conflict between "Marx" and "Hegel" about an incomprehensible issues that have no practical value. Philosophy is method and theory to see and understand the life, and this book will show you how our procedures sought of life, and how they developed their own theories by the ages. If you opened the TV at any time, you would see at least one of the ideas which is mentioned here in the book. no mater how it is old, they will be always an attractive ideas. If you intend to read any scientific book later, then you would see some of the philosophical ideas that is explained here, without any explanation there; as it is a primary knowledge that every scientific geek should have known about. And this book is the best introduction to philosophy's garden, as its explanation is organized and easy to perceive, and it branches to the essentials only. Though "Russel" thinks that learning about philosophy in historical way, is not the best way to handle it, but not all of us have spare time to attend brain storming classes about philosophy. and the vast majority have no curiosity of it to spend all that time in thinking and contemplating in philosophical ways. Reading the first two chapters will show to you if you born as a philosopher or not, and if you would finish it or not!. ** "Philosopher is the man who hasn't lost his ability to be surprised of world" "Sophie's World" was a simplified introduction about the history of philosophical ideas as the first step for learning about philosophy itself. what is next? someone asked me on ask.fm what is next after Sophie's World In an alternative way, you could watch "crush course: philosophy" series to learn about some terms of philosophy. and i do not recommend it so far; because it is so simplified that it hardly talking about serious philosophy. The second step for philosophy, I think it should be book about specific topics with kind of depth, and i recommend "Luc Ferry's" books such as "Learning to Live" as it super smart ideas summarized to easy sense, and I recommend "Introducing" series by "David Robinson", as is exhibited with graphics, and focuses about contemporary philosophy, which Sophie's World do not consider at all. You may want to read more about historical schools of philosophy; because reading it for one time is not enough, so would love to read another book about it. and I recommend trilogy of "A History of Western Philosophy" by Bertrand Russel, and "The story of Philosophy" by Will Durant. That is far OK for beginners, then it will direct you to another great book about specific topics. In the end, be cautious of book with "Introduction" in its title, so that most of them are difficult to understand or so simplified that it has no importance. and be cautious of Goodreads reviews from "Intellectuals of Novels" because they only understand in novels, not PHILOSOPHY. *** ما هي الخطوة التالية؟ سألني أحد على الأسك عن الخطوة التالية ، وإليكم ما ارتأيته من إجابة عالم صوفي كان بداية مبسطة جدا عن تاريخ الفلسفة كمدخل لاستيعاب الفلسفة ذاتها. هنالك طريق مواز لبدء الفلسفة، يمثله ما اتخدته ""سلسلة كراش كورس عن الفلسفة""، من شرح المفاهيم الفلسفية ضمن الإطار الحديث لتصنيف فروع الفلسفة، وهو بداية جيدة، ولكني لا أحبذها لشدة إختصارها المرحلة التالية أفضل أن تكون موضوعات بعينها بنوع من الاستفاضة، وأرشح منها كتب "لوك فيري"، وبالتحديد كتاب "تعلم الحياة، سأروي لك قصة الفلسفة" ويمكنك المرور على سلسلة "أقدم لك" التي قدمها للعربية الأستاذ والفيلسوف "إمام عبد الفتاح إمام"، وهي مبسطة نوعا ما وموضحة بالرسومات، كما أنها تغطي ما فات "عالم صوفي" من الحديث عن الفلسفات المعاصرة كما أن قراءتك "لعالم صوفي" ليست بالكافية لتكوين لمحات عن المذاهب الفلسفية وتطورها، لأن القراءة الأولى للمعلومة لن تغرسها بالقدر الكافي، فيمكنك كحل، المرور على كتب أكثر تفصيلا عن تاريخ الفلسفة، وأرشح منها ثلاثية "برتراند راسل" المعنونة بـ "تاريخ الفلسفة الغربية"، و "قصة الفلسفة" للمؤرخ ذاع الصيت "ويل ديورانت" هذه الترشيحات أظنها كافية وبسيطة لمبتدئ. انهل منها أولا قبل التفكير في ترشيحات ثانية أبعد وأكثر تخصصاً. والترشيحات السابقة ستوجهك لمئات العناوين التالية اللي "ميجراش حاجة لو جربت حظك معاها" وحذار من ريفيوهات "الجود ريدز" التي يكتبها "مثقفي الروايات" عن الكتب الفلسفية؛ لأن "العك كتير"، ولأنك "هتلبس ياما" في ترشيحات مهترئة بسببهم. وكقاعدة عامة، فلا يوجد كتاب معنون بـ"مقدمة عن الفلسفة" إلا وصعب لا يستسيغه مبتدئ، أو مهتريء لا يسمن ولا يغني!. قراءة ممتعة

  2. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    It took me two months to get through this 500-page book. I can rationalize the reasons thusly: — I was busy. — I took time to absorb the content of the book. Instead of rushing through it, I let each chapter sink in before I moved on. But that’s, you know, rationalizing. Here’s the real reason: It’s not very good. Okay, wait, that’s not fair. Let me start again. Sophie’s World is, as the full title suggests, a “Novel about the history of philosophy.” The idea is to present that history as a narrativ It took me two months to get through this 500-page book. I can rationalize the reasons thusly: — I was busy. — I took time to absorb the content of the book. Instead of rushing through it, I let each chapter sink in before I moved on. But that’s, you know, rationalizing. Here’s the real reason: It’s not very good. Okay, wait, that’s not fair. Let me start again. Sophie’s World is, as the full title suggests, a “Novel about the history of philosophy.” The idea is to present that history as a narrative, featuring a 14-year-old girl named Sophie and her philosophy teacher, Alberto Knox. There are two major premises for the existence of this book: 1. “He who cannot draw on 3,000 years is living hand-to-mouth.” This quote by Goethe illustrates that if one is to understand one’s world, one needs to understand the history of that world. You could also say “He who does not understand the past is condemned to repeat it.” As you will. 2. There is not a worthwhile introductory Philosophy text for young readers. Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy might be a bit much for some people. While the “for young people” part of this premise is spelled out in the text, it’s clear that anybody, regardless of age, needs an accessible survey of the history of philosophy if one is to understand one’s world. So enter Sophie’s World. It’s written in a very light, young-adult way with short sentences and simple language. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you’re after. This aspect grated on me initially, before I actually realized that it’s geared for ease of use, as it were. There are two aspects to this book, since it bills itself as a double-header: it’s both a novel and a history. It’s fiction and non-fiction. It’s entertainment and education. It’s tough to combine these things. It’s like writing (and reading) two books at once. So, in a sense, I need to review it twice. At once. Sophie’s World: The Novel Remember I said “It’s not very good?” I was talking about the novel/fiction/entertainment half of the book. Here’s the plot in a nutshell: Sophie begins getting letters from a stranger. These letters form the text of a correspondence course in philosophy. Sophie learns and grows and begins to think about her world differently. Great, right? The problem is that a story needs a conflict. This is story-writing 101. At first, you’re intrigued because it’s a little weird and creepy that Sophie should — out of the blue — begin receiving a course in philosophy from a perfect stranger. But absurdly, she just rolls with it and takes it as it comes. For the first 250 pages or so, nothing happens, story-wise. Sophie gets a new letter. She reads it. She meets the weirdo, they talk. The entire thread of “plot” is just a way to get from one philosophy lesson to the next, and you find yourself discarding the “story” bits and jumping right into the “philosophy" bits. It’s only after the halfway point that a real literary conflict arises and this book starts to hold its own as a novel. Here’s the proof: it took me 8 weeks to read the book, but 7 of those weeks were getting through the first half. I blazed through the second half because things were actually happening. Sophie’s World: The History As a history, the book fares much better. As an introduction to philosophy, or even a refresher survey, it excels. Gaarder, through the character of Alberto Knox, is a superb teacher. The history hits all the high points of philosophy, starting with the Greeks and moving forward all the way to 20th century existentialism, ending with a brief introduction to the universe (Big Bang, stuff like that). Obviously, one cannot expect in-depth coverage of any particular subject or philosopher, but there’s enough information presented at each stop along the way that a reader can identify what particular aspects they might want to explore further through other channels. The history is primarily concerned with western philosophy. While it touches sometimes on eastern knowledge, it’s only in illustration of particular cases where an eastern thought directly affected a western idea. Conclusion Read Sophie’s World, even if you think you already what you need to know about the world we’re living in. And especially if you don’t. Just be warned: approach this book as a light-hearted textbook, not as an information-heavy novel. Even without the trappings of Sophie’s story, the history of philosophy is a fascinating subject, because it’s the history of us.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Sofies Verden = Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder Sophie's World (Norwegian: Sofies verden) is a 1991 novel by Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder. It follows the events of Sophie Amundsen, a teenage girl living in Norway, and Alberto Knox, a middle-aged philosopher who introduces her to philosophical thinking and the history of philosophy. The book begins with Sophie receiving two messages in her mailbox and a postcard addressed to Hilde Møller Knag. Afterwards, she receives a packet of papers, part Sofies Verden = Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder Sophie's World (Norwegian: Sofies verden) is a 1991 novel by Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder. It follows the events of Sophie Amundsen, a teenage girl living in Norway, and Alberto Knox, a middle-aged philosopher who introduces her to philosophical thinking and the history of philosophy. The book begins with Sophie receiving two messages in her mailbox and a postcard addressed to Hilde Møller Knag. Afterwards, she receives a packet of papers, part of a course in philosophy. Sophie, without the knowledge of her mother, becomes the student of an old philosopher, Alberto Knox. Alberto teaches her about the history of philosophy. She gets a substantive and understandable review from the Pre-Socratics to Jean-Paul Sartre. ... تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه مارس سال 1995 میلادی عنوان: دنیای سوفی: داستانی دربارۀ تاریخ فلسفه؛ نویسنده: یوستین گوردر؛ مترجم: کورش صفوی؛ تهران، پژوهشهای فرهنگی، 1374؛ در 639 ص؛ جاپ سوم 1375؛ در 624 ص؛ چاپ چهارم 1379؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان نروژی - سده 20 م عنوان: دنیای سوفی: داستانی دربارۀ تاریخ فلسفه؛ نویسنده: یوستین گوردر؛ مترجم: حسن کامشاد؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1375؛ در 607 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1375؛ چاپ چهارم 1379؛ چاپ پنجم 1380؛ چاپ ششم 1381؛ چاپ هشتم 1384؛ نهم 1385؛ دهم 1386؛ چاپ سیزدهم 1390؛ شابک: 9789644480416؛ چاپ پانزدهم 1392؛ مترجم: مهدی سمسار، تهران، جامی، 1389؛ در 607 ص؛ شابک: 9789642575855؛ چاپ دوم 1392؛ مترجم: لیلا علی مددی زنوزی، تهران، نگارستان کتاب، 1392؛ در 742 ص؛ شابک: 9786001900747؛ مترجم: مهرداد بازیاری، تهران، هرمس، 1392؛ در 630 ص؛ شابک: 9789643634728؛ چاپ ششم 1393؛ مترجم: علیرضا نوری، تهران، آوای (نوای) مکتوب، 1393؛ در 600 (544)ص؛ شابک: 9786007364420؛ (9786009666713)؛ مترجم: محمدجواد انتظاری، تهران، آراسپ، 1395؛ در 700 ص؛ شابک: 9786007986738؛ یوستین گردر (گوردر)، سالها فلسفه تدریس‌ میکردند؛ ایشان پیوسته در اندیشه ی یک متن فلسفی ساده‌ بودند، تا به‌ درد خوانش شاگردان جوانش نیز بخورد. گویا متن مناسبی نیافتند، پس خود بنشستند و دنیای سوفی (1991 میلادی) را بنگاشتند. کتاب با استقبال غیرمنتظره‌ ای روبرو، و پس از نخستین انتشار، به بیش‌ از سی‌ زبان ترجمه‌ شد. «گردر» استاد ساده‌ نویسی و ایجاز هستند. سه‌ هزار سال اندیشه را در 600 صفحه گنجانده اند، و زیرکانه از قول گوته می‌گویند: «کسی‌ که از سه‌ هزار سال بهره‌ نگیرد، تنگدست به‌ سر می‌برد.» و چه‌ راحت مباحث پیچیده ی فلسفه را، به‌ زبان ساده و شیوا و همه‌ فهم بیان می‌کنند: از جمله: نظریه‌ های افلاطون و ارسطو، ریشه‌ گرفتن فرهنگ اروپایی از فرهنگ سامی و هند–اروپایی، هگل را و بحث «آنچه عقلی‌ ست ماندنی‌ ست.»، و دوران حاضر را و انسان محکوم‌ به‌ آزادی را و ... باید توجه‌ داشت که «دنیای سوفی» یک رمان است، رمانی‌ خودآموز، با طرح و بسطی، گیرا و شیوا و دلنشین، در باره ی هستی؛ و برهان محبوبیت ویژه ی کتاب در جهان نیز همین است. ا. شربیانی

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I was a philosophy major in school and *everybody* would ask if I had read Sophie's World. "What an amazing book!" they would gush. "You'll love it!" So I bought it. Purchased the book, let it simmer on my shelf for awhile, and finally picked it up a few years ago to give it a go. I slogged through the first few chapters. Did my best to suspend my disbelief at the transparently device the author uses to introduce the ideas of many famous (and not-so-famous) philosophers. I tried to ignore the soph I was a philosophy major in school and *everybody* would ask if I had read Sophie's World. "What an amazing book!" they would gush. "You'll love it!" So I bought it. Purchased the book, let it simmer on my shelf for awhile, and finally picked it up a few years ago to give it a go. I slogged through the first few chapters. Did my best to suspend my disbelief at the transparently device the author uses to introduce the ideas of many famous (and not-so-famous) philosophers. I tried to ignore the sophomoric dialog and trite inner-monologue of the child. I even put the book in the bathroom so I could force myself to keep reading it. I filled in with other books... maybe it was just too much philosophy at once! If I took it in smaller doses, perhaps I'd enjoy this survey of the subject. Then one glorious day the cleaners came and managed to knock the book between the washer and dryer. It's a sign! Oh thank god, a sign that I can stop trying to love this horrible, wretched, unlovable book! Last week, the cleaners unearthed the book. It's pages mangled, the paperback spine bending it into a permanant spread eagle position. Maybe it gets better! How do I *know* the book won't redeem itself in the 2nd half? Surely all those people couldn't be wrong about the book, or misjudge whether I'd like it or not. Surely. ...and into the recycle bin it goes. The End.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    This has been an upsetting reread because I've found that though the book is a quiet entity on its own and in the mind of its readers, I was left hungry for more, but I was also balanced. For years after I read this book, which changed my life for the better, I thought it was the best read of the world. Naive that I was, I also thought back then, that all philosophy books were as digestible as Sophie's World. What a delusion! The book is now slow and uncouth, being cut from the same cloth as Aris This has been an upsetting reread because I've found that though the book is a quiet entity on its own and in the mind of its readers, I was left hungry for more, but I was also balanced. For years after I read this book, which changed my life for the better, I thought it was the best read of the world. Naive that I was, I also thought back then, that all philosophy books were as digestible as Sophie's World. What a delusion! The book is now slow and uncouth, being cut from the same cloth as Aristotle's imbecilities, Kant's willful religiosity, and Spinoza's heartbreaking and enthusiastic views. This book is like Philosophy For Dummies. It's a crash course. Sophie is a girl. But is she real? Was she real and will she continue in being real? How does she survive? You could do worse than trying to find answers to those questions by reading this book. Finally I admit defeat. This book is ephemeral. I couldn't grasp it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David Monroe

    I enjoyed the book immensely. I studied basic philosophy in college so I soon became aware that many philosophers were left out and whole era's were glossed over in this book. You know, that's OK. One - It's not a text book and two - It's NOT a text book! The stories are separate and finally come together in a fairly predictable way. It is a bit didactic, but imagine yourself a very bright, curious, thoughtful and sensitive 14, 15 or 16 year-old struggling with the usual thoughts and feelings of I enjoyed the book immensely. I studied basic philosophy in college so I soon became aware that many philosophers were left out and whole era's were glossed over in this book. You know, that's OK. One - It's not a text book and two - It's NOT a text book! The stories are separate and finally come together in a fairly predictable way. It is a bit didactic, but imagine yourself a very bright, curious, thoughtful and sensitive 14, 15 or 16 year-old struggling with the usual thoughts and feelings of angst and hormones and loneliness and you stumble onto this book and identify with the character (or at least like her) and suddenly you're not the only one thinking these thoughts or dreaming these ideas. They aren't being forced on you by a teacher, but they're shared through a book. You are not alone, there are entire schools of thought written about these thoughts and feelings. For that child is this book written. So he or she can then explore what they found in its pages and see where it takes them. It's not a textbook, it's Alice's potion or Neo's pill. To me, that is worthy of 5+ stars any day of the week.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    Basically, Russell's History of Western Philosophy adapted as a postmodern Norwegian YA novel. Or if you want more details: (view spoiler)["Where are we?" asked Sofie. "I don't understand. We aren't in my world any more. Or in Hilde's world. So..." Alberto sighed. "It is clear," he said, "that we have entered another narrative. By the look of it, I strongly suspect a review. On the Goodreads website." "Explain!" said Sofie. "You remember that we became a book," continued Alberto patiently. "I can se Basically, Russell's History of Western Philosophy adapted as a postmodern Norwegian YA novel. Or if you want more details: (view spoiler)["Where are we?" asked Sofie. "I don't understand. We aren't in my world any more. Or in Hilde's world. So..." Alberto sighed. "It is clear," he said, "that we have entered another narrative. By the look of it, I strongly suspect a review. On the Goodreads website." "Explain!" said Sofie. "You remember that we became a book," continued Alberto patiently. "I can see that this book was very successful. It has been widely read - so widely, in fact, that people have started parodying it. We are in one of those parodies." "Then we are being written again?" asked Sofie. "By someone else?" "Indeed," replied Alberto. "I can immediately tell from the style that the author has changed." "But in that case," said Sofie, "are we still us? If we're in the mind of a different person?" "Ah," said Alberto. "A very interesting question! Come, Sofie, you have now finished my philosophy course. What possibilities are there?" "Well," said Sofie, considering. "I suppose Plato might have argued that the real Sofie was never in the mind of her author. What was there could only have been a poor shadow of the true Sofie, who was in the world of Forms. So why could not another shadow appear in the mind of a different person, and be just as real as the first one?" "Excellent, excellent," murmured her teacher. "Please continue." "And Berkeley," said Sofie, "would have told me I was an idea in the mind of God, even if I was at the same time an idea in the mind of another of God's creatures. So even if I have a different author, I am still one of God's thoughts." "You are an attentive student," smiled Alberto. "And Hegel would also agree," said Sofie. "He would say I had become part of the Weltgeist, the World Spirit. The Weltgeist encompasses many individual minds, so although I am written by a different person, I am still me." "I am proud of you," said Alberto. "And now--" "No, wait!" said Sofie. "Sartre would have said that it is my individual choice to decide who I am. Only I can resolve my existential situation. I have to take responsibility for it myself." "And do you take responsibility for it?" asked Alberto. "Hm," said Sofie. "On the one hand, I don't feel I'm very well written. My dialogue is flat and implausible. I'm not a particularly credible character, just a mouthpiece for the author. Of course the same goes for you." "And is that bad?" asked Alberto. "Maybe not," said Sofie. "After all, it's made clear that we are just characters in an invented philosophy text. And there are so many references to Plato. Many of his characters are flat and unbelievable too, and only serve as foils for Socrates." "A good point," murmured Alberto. "And the author's intentions are admirable!" said Sofie enthusiastically. "The passage about Nils Holgerssons underbara resa could not be more clear. He wants to write a philosophy course suitable for younger teens that will genuinely engage their attention. Maybe the Philip K. Dick plays on the nature of reality are unsubtle. But they work. Tens of millions of people have read and enjoyed this book, who would never have dreamed of reading an ordinary piece of philosophy. Of course we aren't as good as Russell, but is that the relevant comparison? We're so much better than Harry Potter or Twilight." "But are you still you?" asked Alberto. "That, after all, is the question we started off discussing." "I am!" replied Sofie firmly. "I decide that I am. I know I'm now being written by someone else, but it makes no difference. I can feel he wants to start picking at the details - that absurdly incorrect description of the Big Bang, for example - but I won't let him!" "Irony, irony," said Alberto. "I'll let him have his little bit of irony," said Sofie in a scornful voice, "but I don't care! I'm stronger than he is, and I will go on to introduce millions more kids to philosophy. Maybe they'll look back one day when they've become more sophisticated and sneer, but it doesn't matter. I'll know what really got them started on the subject." "Well said!" said Alberto, and laughed out loud. "You are my very favorite teen girl philosopher superhero. Bravo! Bravo!" "Thank you," said Sofie modestly. "I wondered when you'd figure out why I was wearing a cape. Here, I have one for you too. I hope the color goes with your skiing hat?" "Not bad," said Alberto, as he surveyed his reflection in the magic mirror. "Okay then!" said Sofie. She pointed towards the infinite realms of chaos around them. "No time to lose! Come on! Let's philosophize!" (hide spoiler)]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    The two things this book has going for it are: the plot and narrative frame are original and creative, and the story is more informative than most. The basic premise is that a 14-year-old Norwegian girl embarks on a correspondence course with a philosopher, and he teaches her the major points of Western philosophy, from the ancient Greeks up until the existentialists. What makes the narrative structure more original than your average novel is that everything becomes very meta and self-referentia The two things this book has going for it are: the plot and narrative frame are original and creative, and the story is more informative than most. The basic premise is that a 14-year-old Norwegian girl embarks on a correspondence course with a philosopher, and he teaches her the major points of Western philosophy, from the ancient Greeks up until the existentialists. What makes the narrative structure more original than your average novel is that everything becomes very meta and self-referential towards the end, when it comes to light that the girl and the teacher are not what they appear to be. The book is somewhat postmodern in this respect, but brought down to a level suitable for young adult readers. As far as the story being informative -- by the end of the book, I had learned a lot about trends in the history of philosophy, as well as the major ideas of each major philosopher's project, so in that respect Sophie's World was useful and educational. However, the book was weighed down by several elements of the story that a good editor could have foreseen and cut out. In general the author devotes too much energy to trivial details, which ultimately results in him writing a 500 page novel that could have been improved by being merely a 300 page novel. On top of that, Gaarder is not adept at the mystery genre, but tries to make this book a mystery story anyway. Sophie is under-characterized and has several unnecessary flaws that contribute nothing to the story and only serve to make the reader dislike her. The man who teaches Sophie philosophy is condescending, patronizing, and pedantic. Throughout the entire story, I found it very unrealistic that no one else thought that it was untoward or creepy that a 40-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl were alone together for hours in his house several days a week. Sophie's mother was very curious about this man, but she never forbade Sophie from seeing him or asked Sophie if everything was all right, and she only met him after the correspondence course had been going on for several months. Sophie was ditching schoolwork and family to be with this man and was totally obsessed with him. He remained totally in control throughout the whole story and commanded her in a way that made me uncomfortable at times. It seems that Gaarder would have been uncomfortable having the philosophy teacher be female -- Gaarder himself used to be a philosophy teacher, and so he probably found it more comfortable to have the character representing him be the same sex as him -- but he was too squeamish to confront the realities of such a socially suspect relationship, and I found that irresponsible of him, especially in a book geared towards young adults. My other major criticism of the book is that it deals entirely with Western philosophy and only the dead white men of Western philosophy, at that. Gaarder tries to compensate for this by having Sophie be his mouthpiece for feminism, but not only do I find it highly unlikely that a 14-year-old girl would take up arms about women's rights the way she did, but I also found most of her comments to be the kind of canned, stereotypical comments that a male who didn't know much about feminism would assume a feminist would say. My one final thought will be to say that if you read this book (and you should only read it if you have nothing better at hand), pay attention to the role of motherhood and fatherhood in the story. Although the book is not about mothers and fathers, parents play a large role in the characters' lives, and the way Gaarder portrays mothers as meddling, clueless, domestic drones and fathers as intelligent, authoritative (and absent) heroes says more about Gaarder's own life than I think he intended it to.

  9. 4 out of 5

    AMEERA

    I really liked the idea of this book and has such a beautiful informations about everything but was boring to death and the same informations repeat them self 💔!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder is an ambitious project which falls flat - in my opinion, of course. It is a very good introduction to European philosophy, with a few casual references to Eastern thought thrown in for the sake of comparison. Starting with Pre-Socratics, it provides a fairly simple and comprehensive look at classical philosophy. In the middle, it makes a detour into Christian theology and the Middle Ages before emerging triumphantly from the dark with Renaissance thought. Toward Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder is an ambitious project which falls flat - in my opinion, of course. It is a very good introduction to European philosophy, with a few casual references to Eastern thought thrown in for the sake of comparison. Starting with Pre-Socratics, it provides a fairly simple and comprehensive look at classical philosophy. In the middle, it makes a detour into Christian theology and the Middle Ages before emerging triumphantly from the dark with Renaissance thought. Towards the end, it discusses Marxism in detail, and Darwin's evolutionary theory and Freud's psychoanalytic techniques as though they were "philosophies" (while many other path-breaking scientific discoveries are left untouched) before ending with Sarte's existentialism. It seems to be targetted at young readers, and may encourage some of the serious ones to take up the study of philosophy: if so, that much is in the book's favour. As to the literary merits of the work, I have to regretfully give a total thumbs-down. The story is mostly dialogue; Gaarder uses the ages-old technique of Plato to get across complex philosophical ideas through relatively simple sentences. While the intention is admirable, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Sophie comes across most of the time as rather moronic, and her teacher Alberto sounds like a pompous ass.(view spoiler)[ Of course, there is some justification for the imperfections of characterisation, as Sophie and Alberto exist only in the head of Major Albert Knag who is writing their story: still, the overall responsibility as author lies squarely at Gaarder's door. (hide spoiler)] Towards the end, the style of dialogue became so repetitive as to become grating: for example, the sentence: "a mere bagatelle, Sophie." is uttered like a chant by Alberto at regular intervals (to be totally fair, it may be a problem with the translation, but I do not think so). (view spoiler)[Gaarder's idea to frame this (novel? -treatise?) as a "story-within-a-story", even though a laudable attempt, fails due to the total ineptitude of execution. Towards the end, as Sophie and Alberto "escape" from the book into independent existence in the land of imagination, the structure of narrative collapses like a pack of cards. The "Philosophical Tea Party" (a conscious take-off on Alice's Mad Tea-Party) reads like a cross between a scene from a play by Beckett and a movie by Bunuel. By last third of the book, the reader starts wishing for the end to come quickly. (hide spoiler)] I would recommend this book only for casual young readers who want an introduction to European philosophy. If they are really serious, I would recommend The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant, which is a much better book and much more exciting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karl-O

    Sophie’s World is an outline of Western philosophy that is beautifully set in a fictional story. It goes from pre-Socratic philosophy all the way to Sartre. Jostein Gaarder does a very good job not just by writing a concise history of philosophy, but also by writing a very accessible book for as far as early teenagers, which in itself is worthy of high praise. His comparison between different philosophers throughout the book is truly remarkable and made the book very enjoyable. He demonstrates, Sophie’s World is an outline of Western philosophy that is beautifully set in a fictional story. It goes from pre-Socratic philosophy all the way to Sartre. Jostein Gaarder does a very good job not just by writing a concise history of philosophy, but also by writing a very accessible book for as far as early teenagers, which in itself is worthy of high praise. His comparison between different philosophers throughout the book is truly remarkable and made the book very enjoyable. He demonstrates, for example, the contrast between Aristotle and Plato by comparing their views about reality and the mind in a way that no philosophy textbook of which I know does. While reading the book and recalling my philosophy classes back at school, I continuously wished that something like Sophie's World was taught there instead of the bleak philosophy textbooks of which I practically remember nothing. However, some may feel that certain philosophers were ignored by the author. I believe this was due to his fictional story, which was fascinating with its twists, and the questions it raised. And, I don't think it's reasonable to expect a full account of Western philosophy being condensed in less than a 500-page book. I believe certain lesser-known philosophers had to be overlooked, not just to achieve brevity, but also to ensure full integration between the fiction and non-fiction of the book. Nevertheless, the book covers vast philosophical grounds and is highly informative. Finally, I think the most important thing in Sophie's World was that it shed light on the significance of various discoveries and advancements of civilization in our reality, and the influence they exerted throughout the ages on our thoughts and philosophies. This, in my view, can be better demonstrate by an artist than by a philosopher, which is what Gaarder did in the book and that's exactly why I highly recommend it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    My dear Sophie, there comes a time when you have to face some harsh truths about this wicked world. And I think that time is now. Some people, and it pains me to say this, are not what they seem. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but that breezy scoutmaster, that avuncular English teacher, and that fit young P.E. teacher might not be paedophiles at all. I know! Sometimes you have to read between the lines, and catch the innuendo in what appear to be innocent remarks. For instance, should the E My dear Sophie, there comes a time when you have to face some harsh truths about this wicked world. And I think that time is now. Some people, and it pains me to say this, are not what they seem. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but that breezy scoutmaster, that avuncular English teacher, and that fit young P.E. teacher might not be paedophiles at all. I know! Sometimes you have to read between the lines, and catch the innuendo in what appear to be innocent remarks. For instance, should the English teacher, maybe whilst tickling your ear or fondling your springtime bouquet, drop casually into the conversation, "Sophie, uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination." Now, that's the kind of thing which should make your girlish senses perk up. He's no paedo - that's pure Wittgenstein. His intention is to inveigle you into his house where he will then read to you at his leisure from Tractato Logico-Philosophicus. He's a philosopher! And he knows that if you philosophise together, even once, you'll be so ashamed you'll not want to admit it to anyone. So, if you even pick up a hint of that kind of thing, you must tell me, Sophie, you must tell me, tell me. only me. Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Promise me, Sophie. ** The real review : this book was like one of those ideas you get in the pub - here, wouldn't it be SO COOL if blah blah blah - Oh yeah, and then blah blah blah! Yeah! Brilliant! Your round I think! Then the next day you think....naaah. But the next day Mr Gaader still thought it was brilliant, and to be honest, it's like your uncle doing magic tricks not that well, but he's a nice old geezer, so you kind of go along with it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    It was okay. But I was hoping for a beautiful and engaging tale that took away the usual textbook format of reading about philosophy. It didn't happen. This book was nothing more than a lesson in letters and conversations, and I found the style didn't add anything exciting which I'm supposing was the point. I didn't hate it but I could have just read my Philosophy of Religion AQA guide from college.

  14. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This is a truly one of the most amazing books that I read so far! After reading a few pages in 2007, I got really busy at work so this got sidelined. When I got interested on reading again a few months back and last weekend I resumed reading this, I just could not put this down and finished remaining 400 pages or so in just 2 days. I had almost zero background in Philosophy and its novel filled up my brain to the brim! And the way this novel did that was amazing. It was an easy read as I know th This is a truly one of the most amazing books that I read so far! After reading a few pages in 2007, I got really busy at work so this got sidelined. When I got interested on reading again a few months back and last weekend I resumed reading this, I just could not put this down and finished remaining 400 pages or so in just 2 days. I had almost zero background in Philosophy and its novel filled up my brain to the brim! And the way this novel did that was amazing. It was an easy read as I know this was designed to introduce kids to Philosophy but the fertile mind of Gaarder was just marvelous! Each of the great philosophers were discussed and almost went alive (Sophie seeing Socrates on the video alive in Athens for example). I particularly like the portion about Darwin and the start of life from the soup of life. I have a medical background and I know a lot about DNA and heredity but this one presented the theories in a very simple and entertaining way. Many contemporary authors should learn from Gaarder who I learned is not even an English native speaker or writer (being born and based in Norway). Thanks to Dexter for recommending this book to me and Tata J for marking this book in the 501 Must Read Books with “Very Good”. I disagree with that as for me this book is but Amazing!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This is a novel that I remember zipping through and highly enjoying the first time I read it 20 years ago. When I decided to reread it, in part because of all the philosophical discussions on the excellent show "The Good Place," I was surprised by how much longer it took me to finish and how easily sidetracked I was by other books. (To be fair, I think I had this book with me on a remote vacation the first time, so I was a more captive audience back then.) As the subtitle suggests, Sophie's World This is a novel that I remember zipping through and highly enjoying the first time I read it 20 years ago. When I decided to reread it, in part because of all the philosophical discussions on the excellent show "The Good Place," I was surprised by how much longer it took me to finish and how easily sidetracked I was by other books. (To be fair, I think I had this book with me on a remote vacation the first time, so I was a more captive audience back then.) As the subtitle suggests, Sophie's World is indeed a novel about the history of philosophy. We meet 14-year-old Sophie, who begins receiving strange notes and letters about the origins and meaning of life. We learn that she has been selected to be a student of an unusual philosophy course, in which her teacher sends her long letters about different philosophers. We also learn that Sophie is somehow linked to the life of another girl, Hilde, and both girls share the same birthday. This is a fun little mystery that gets resolved about midway through the book, and which has a satisfying ending. Philosophy is a fascinating and thought-provoking subject for a novel, and I did enjoy this review of its history, but my one quibbling complaint is that the dialogue in the novel was quite contrived. I applaud the author for trying to make an accessible story about philosophy, but at times this book really was quite dense to get through. I'm keeping it at a 4-star rating out of appreciation for how thoughtful the book was in all other aspects (as evidenced by my long list of my favorite quotes below). Recommended for anyone who would like an overview of philosophy. First read: approx. 1997 Second read: most of 2018 Favorite Quotes "How tragic that most people had to get ill before they understood what a gift it was to be alive!" "We feel we are part of something mysterious and we would like to know how it all works." "In order for democracy to work, people had to be educated enough to take part in the democratic process. We have seen in our own time how a young democracy needs popular enlightenment." "A philosopher knows that in reality he knows very little. That is why he constantly strives to achieve true insight." "How should we live? What does it require to live a good life? [Aristotle's] answer: Man can only achieve happiness by using all his abilities and capabilities." "The Cynics emphasized that true happiness is not found in external advantages such as material luxury, political power, or good health. True happiness lies in not being dependent on such random and fleeting things. And because happiness does not consist in benefits of this kind, it is within everyone's reach. Moreover, having once been attained, it can never be lost." "The Indo-Europeans had a cyclic view of history. This is the belief that history goes in circles, just like the seasons of the year. There is thus no beginning and no end to history, but there are different civilizations that rise and fall in an eternal interplay between birth and death." "I shall leave a more thorough study of Jesus and his teachings to your religion teacher. He will have quite a task. I hope he will succeed in showing what an exceptional man Jesus was. In an ingenious way he used the language of his time to give the old war cries a totally new and broader content. It's not surprising that he ended on the cross. His radical tidings of redemption were at odds with so many interests and power factors that he had to be removed." "We can't all let ourselves be washed away by the tide of history, Sophie. Some of us must tarry in order to gather up what has been left along the river banks." "Life is both sad and solemn. We are let into a wonderful world, we meet one another here, greet each other — and wander together for a brief moment. Then we lose each other and disappear as suddenly and unreasonably as we arrived." "Humanism has always had a shadow side. No epoch is either purely good or purely evil. Good and evil are twin threads that run through the history of mankind. And often they intertwine." "So 'to be or not to be' is not the whole question. The question is also who we are. Are we really human beings of flesh and blood? Does our world consist of real things — or are we encircled by the mind?" "A person who says he doesn't understand art doesn't know himself very well." "It is important for an artist to be able to 'let go.' The surrealists tried to exploit this by putting themselves into a state where things just happened by themselves. They had a sheet of white paper in front of them and they began to write without thinking about what they wrote." "The question is whether history is coming to an end — or whether on the contrary we are on the threshold of a completely new age. We are no longer simply citizens of a city — or of a particular country. We live in a planetary civilization."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    What went right in the beginning of with Sophie's World? And what caused it to plunge so grievously, groan-inducingly wrong? As a colleague commented to me, it's not often that we make it all the way through books that turn us off so dramatically. True. However, it's also unusual that a book would seem at least moderately intriguing and appealing for 500 pages, then flop. Flop in my personal opinion, that is. The good things about Sophie's World...Interesting frame story that evolves into an abso What went right in the beginning of with Sophie's World? And what caused it to plunge so grievously, groan-inducingly wrong? As a colleague commented to me, it's not often that we make it all the way through books that turn us off so dramatically. True. However, it's also unusual that a book would seem at least moderately intriguing and appealing for 500 pages, then flop. Flop in my personal opinion, that is. The good things about Sophie's World...Interesting frame story that evolves into an absorbing plot twist...A good refresher on basic philosophy written by an experienced teacher of that subject...A rare piece of Norwegian fiction that's made it to the States in excellent translation...Inquisitive and varied perspectives on religion that aren't likely to appear in literature here. The bad things (spoilers ahead)...The meta-meta-fiction thing that happens after the characters realize they're fiction...The teacher dressing up in costumes to represent time periods...Having quite so much of the text in essay/epistolary format that just doesn't mesh with the rest of the story...The appearances of the Loch Ness Monster, Little Red Riding Hood, and so forth in otherwise realistic fiction...And this is one of my pet peeves, but I hate it when male authors try to write an emotional and sensory passage about having cramps. Guys, if you write a novel one day, just don't even. That said, if you're into experimental lit, and can stand the above-mentioned quirks, go for it, what the heck?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad Ranjbari

    I do not think I wrote a novel based on the teachings of education and called the name of her novel But the novel was able to maintain his side's novel. Particularly in the imagery and narrative coherence, was acceptable I recommend reading this book to teenagers انتشارات هرمس در ایران با کیفیتی بسیار قابل قبول، این کتاب رو چاپ کرده

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bader

    Have you ever got from your friend that notebook that you like to read or study from? Have you ever said thing such: “OMG, He got the professor’s idea and wrote it very well” or thing such: “great summary you did for these lessons, may you give it to me to copy it”. Jostein Gaarder is one of these people who know how to give you a well done summary which makes you so comfortable with studying. However, while you are studying those notes to achieve what you want to achieve you would read this boo Have you ever got from your friend that notebook that you like to read or study from? Have you ever said thing such: “OMG, He got the professor’s idea and wrote it very well” or thing such: “great summary you did for these lessons, may you give it to me to copy it”. Jostein Gaarder is one of these people who know how to give you a well done summary which makes you so comfortable with studying. However, while you are studying those notes to achieve what you want to achieve you would read this book to enjoy the excitement of the storyline he gives with important lessons. One great thing about Jostein Gaarder is his ability to be the author; his/her characters in the story, or even to be you, the one who read the story. He really has this nice ability of making your brain workn and get into the events of story whatever they are. It is a good book to read in term of having lessons, enjoyment, and recognizing how the well done story writing can be. The last thing you should know about the book that it is about the History of Philosophy. What can I add to that? Regards Bader

  19. 5 out of 5

    Corinne

    I read this book when I was twenty, and then I read it again recently on a business trip. What's great about this book is that the author takes the prominent Philosophers from the West, and renders their essences into a form digestible by the larger public. In fact, he wrote this book only to teach his high school class in philosophy, but then it became a worldwide success. The only thing I regret is that the author has not cared to look into the philosophers from the East. If he did, I am sure I read this book when I was twenty, and then I read it again recently on a business trip. What's great about this book is that the author takes the prominent Philosophers from the West, and renders their essences into a form digestible by the larger public. In fact, he wrote this book only to teach his high school class in philosophy, but then it became a worldwide success. The only thing I regret is that the author has not cared to look into the philosophers from the East. If he did, I am sure he would have done a great job too. But then, in how many high schools of the West are we taught about the philosophers from the East? The book is written in the form of a novel, and I find the author's art of storytelling reasonably good. Overall, I think it's a great book for those who want to have a decent grasp on the Western philosophy, because it is easily comprehensible.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emad Attili

    I read this book a long time ago, and I really liked it. It's very powerful and attractive. It gave me a general idea of philosophy (it's worth mentioning that it was the first book I read about philosophy). I read it in Arabic and English, and I enjoyed them both:) I recommend it for those who have no idea of philosophy and philosophers. It's simple and noteworthy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    An interesting little metafiction— at times, meta-metafiction— for aspiring baby philosophers. A digestible, sweet narrative of the history of philosophy that, like many actual philosophers, employs dialogues to explain ideas. At times, it’s pretty adorable, and I wish I’d read this in high school. Other times, it goes off on tangents, hammers its points home a little too aggressively, and exudes a little too much glee over its own cleverness. Sophie Amundsun is a clever fourteen-year-old full o An interesting little metafiction— at times, meta-metafiction— for aspiring baby philosophers. A digestible, sweet narrative of the history of philosophy that, like many actual philosophers, employs dialogues to explain ideas. At times, it’s pretty adorable, and I wish I’d read this in high school. Other times, it goes off on tangents, hammers its points home a little too aggressively, and exudes a little too much glee over its own cleverness. Sophie Amundsun is a clever fourteen-year-old full of wonder about life, death, identity. She gets a note in the mail that says “Who are you?” and then “Where does the world come from?” After letting her muse over those questions and get annoyed about the fact that nobody else seems to care about that kind of thing (instead, her classmates are absorbed in things like who has a crush on whom and who’s winning sports events. Sophie, I feel your pain), the mysterious letter-sender begins sending her a course in philosophy— in little snippets at a time. He tells her, “The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder.” He adds that children, every time they see a dog, or a lion at the zoo, cry ‘Dog!’ or ‘Lion!’ But when they’ve seen enough dogs and lions, they’re less impressed and stop shouting about it excitedly. But it’s a shame, he says— we should all be so constantly intrigued by things, and take nothing int world for granted. His intention, he says, is to ensure that Sophie does not grow up to be one of those adults who take the world for granted. Philosophers are like small children in that the world “continues to seem a bit unreasonable— bewildering, even enigmatic. . . . So you must choose, Sophie. Are you a child who has not yet become world-weary? Or are you a philosopher who will vow never to become so?” The way he describes the Platonic shadows— via the horse explanation— is probably my favourite summary of it that I’ve ever come across: You can make a batch of identical(ish) cookies because you use a cookie mold. The individual cookies are mostly identical, but of course might have minor flaws that distinguish them from each other. But the mold is the “perfect” shape off of which the other cookies are modeled. Likewise, in some other reality, the world of ideas, there is a horse that is a “perfect” horse off of which the horses we encounter in this sensory world are copied. Then he says, “Plato believed the soul existed before it inhabited the body. But as soon as the soul wakes up in a human body, it has forgotten all the perfect ideas. Then something wondrous happens. As the human being discovers the various forms in the natural world, a vague recollection stirs his soul. He sees a horse— bu an imperfect horse. The sight of it is sufficient to awaken in the soula faint recollection of the perfect horse, which the soul once saw in the world of ideas, and this stirs the soul with a yearning to return to its true realm. Plato calls this yearning eros- love. The soul, then, experiences a longing to return to its true origin. From now on, the body and the whole sensory world is experienced as imperfect and insignificant. The soul yearns to fly home on the wings of love to the world of ideas. It longs to be freed from the chains of the body. . . . Plato believed that all natural phenomena are merely shadows of the eternal forms or ideas. But most people are content with a life among shadows. They give no thought to what is casting the shadows. They think shadows are all there are, never realizing even that they are, in fact, shadows. And thus they pay no heed to the immortality of their own soul. Plato’s point was not that the natural world is dark and dreary, but that it is dark and dreary in comparison with the clarity of ideas. A picture of a beautiful landscape is not dark and dreary either. But it is only a picture.”

  22. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read Sophie's World in Norwegian last year and quite liked it. Now my inner German child, who's decided he's called "Manfred", has read it too. He tells me it just blew him away and he'll write a review so that all my friends on Goodreads will know how fantastic it is. "You can't write a review, Manfred," I say. "You're not even three yet." "I'm much older than that!" says Manfred. "Would a three year old know words like Schwerkraft and Rationalismus and Nahrungsmittelproduktion?" I have to admi I read Sophie's World in Norwegian last year and quite liked it. Now my inner German child, who's decided he's called "Manfred", has read it too. He tells me it just blew him away and he'll write a review so that all my friends on Goodreads will know how fantastic it is. "You can't write a review, Manfred," I say. "You're not even three yet." "I'm much older than that!" says Manfred. "Would a three year old know words like Schwerkraft and Rationalismus and Nahrungsmittelproduktion?" I have to admit that he seems to have picked up a lot of vocabulary. It makes him even more irritating than he was before. "So what was so great about the book?" I ask Manfred with all the patience I can muster. "You know, it's not very well written. And the philosophy is kind of obvious. Not to mention actually incorrect in a number of places." Manfred makes a rude noise. "You're too old to get it," he says smugly. "You don't see how astonishing and mysterious the world is. You're so dumb you think you understand it. Kids like me know that we don't understand it at all. It might be completely different from how you imagine it is, but you never stop to think about that any more." "Well," I say defensively, "I do get that. I read books on quantum theory—" But Manfred's having none of it. Quantum theory is small potatoes as far as he's concerned. "I mean completely different," he says with the contempt only a geeky preteen can feel. "You don't get it. You read the book too quickly." "That's because I know how to read," I snap. Manfred looks crushed for a moment, but comes back strong. "You don't read properly," he says. "You just skim. I read it all, every word, and I really thought about it. See, Sophie believes at the beginning that she knows who she is, but she finds she's wrong. She thinks she's an ordinary girl in an ordinary Norwegian town, but that's not who she is at all." "Sounds totally different from every other bestselling YA novel," I agree. But Manfred's not impressed by my irony. "It is totally different from every other bestselling YA novel," he says. "She doesn't discover she has some crappy superpower or whatever. She learns the truth by working hard and studying philosophy. Real philosophy." "Sort of real," I say. "Real enough," says Manfred. "She discovers she isn't an ordinary girl at all, she's just a character in a book. And because she's studied philosophy, she's able to figure out how to escape." "Yeah, how does she escape?" I ask. "The ending doesn't make sense. That stupid tea party—" Manfred looks smug. "I told you, you read it too quickly," he says. "The ending makes perfect sense. You remember they talk about Freud, and the unconscious, and the Surrealists, and automatic writing? And how Alberto has a plan he can't explain?" "Yes," I say doubtfully. "Look," says Manfred, "It's simple. The reason the writing stops making sense is that they trick the Major into letting his unconscious take over. And they hint several times that the Major isn't the real author either, and that maybe even he's being written. They don't just trick him, they trick Gaarder too. He loses control of his characters, and Sophie and Albert escape. They really do get out into the world." "Well..." I say. Damn, is it possible that this little brat noticed something I missed? "And you see," continues Manfred, "Maybe it doesn't even stop there. Maybe I'm just a character in a story. Maybe you are. How do you know?" "I'm real," I protest. "And I still think the ending sucked." Manfred laughs. "I keep telling you, you're too old," he says. "Now post my review. I promise, even if you don't get it, some other kids will."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    At times a little dull-paced but overall very well-written and engaging, Sophie's World is an eye-opening classic with powerful themes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kenghis Khan

    Marx accused philosophers of describing the world and failing to change it. One of the extremely innovatinve aspects of this book is the author's ability to demonstrate how the world would be if philosophers did indeed change it. Bizarre though Berkeley, Hegel and Leibniz may seem to us, Gaarder does a remarkable job showing us how the world would looks like through the spectacles of these thinkers. Sophie's World is arguably unparalleled in its ability to "apply" the philosophical discourse to Marx accused philosophers of describing the world and failing to change it. One of the extremely innovatinve aspects of this book is the author's ability to demonstrate how the world would be if philosophers did indeed change it. Bizarre though Berkeley, Hegel and Leibniz may seem to us, Gaarder does a remarkable job showing us how the world would looks like through the spectacles of these thinkers. Sophie's World is arguably unparalleled in its ability to "apply" the philosophical discourse to the way "the world is." Furthermore, there is no doubt that Gaarder pays very careful and too often neglected attention to the context in which the philosophers developed their theories. The writing is clear enough that a lay reader will have no difficulty understanding what is going on, and the plot is sufficiently intriguing. There is one area, however, where this book is a disappointment. The passages describing the philosophers' lines of thought and such what, largely standard stuff, read like entries copied out of an encyclopedia. Perhaps their nature compels them to be long and rather dry, but they can be shortened sufficiently, or divided up more so that theory may be presented by example in the plot, and so on. There is also a very awkward sense of discontinuity between theory and practice that this fosters. Finally, I disagree with his decision to restrict discussion about recent philosophy to Freud and Sartre. While understandable, the enormous influence in philosophy proper of characters like the Pragmatists, Frege or Heidegger gets little to no mention while a great deal is spent on pre-Hegelian romantics and other groups I consider not horribly important. Gaarder does demonstrate an interesting subthesis showing how the sciences slowly removed themselves from "philosophy" (from Ptolemy to Darwin)and perhaps Freud, placed in this context, is understandable. However, as this is a minor point, the work is nevertheless altogether enjoyable and uncontroversial when it comes to describing most of the philosophers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ko

    It was a good chance for me to know about the basic philosophy. I've never thought about what we are, why we are living in this world. Especially, I got interested in Plato's philosophy. We tend to be inside the box like the people living inside the cave described in this story. They don't understand outside the cave. We should critically think about everything, and find out the truth. This will lead to a new creation. I'd studied my second language for a long time before I found out the best wa It was a good chance for me to know about the basic philosophy. I've never thought about what we are, why we are living in this world. Especially, I got interested in Plato's philosophy. We tend to be inside the box like the people living inside the cave described in this story. They don't understand outside the cave. We should critically think about everything, and find out the truth. This will lead to a new creation. I'd studied my second language for a long time before I found out the best way to improve it. I was inside the box. Once I got out of the box, I dramatically improved my second language skills. In this way, we should consider everything very carefully.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kaya

    “It's not a silly question if you can't answer it.” It’s refreshing when my expectations are met. Though this book is mostly for those who haven’t met with the philosophy yet, it was a nice reminder of everything I studied at University. Since he’s one of my favorite authors, it’s really hard for me to be objective about his work, but this novel is truly remarkable, despite its many flaws. In a nutshell, the book is about the history of philosophy, featuring a 14-year-old girl named Sophie and “It's not a silly question if you can't answer it.” It’s refreshing when my expectations are met. Though this book is mostly for those who haven’t met with the philosophy yet, it was a nice reminder of everything I studied at University. Since he’s one of my favorite authors, it’s really hard for me to be objective about his work, but this novel is truly remarkable, despite its many flaws. In a nutshell, the book is about the history of philosophy, featuring a 14-year-old girl named Sophie and her philosophy teacher, Alberto Knox. Sophie gets letters from a stranger which grow into a course in philosophy. Over time, she begins to think about her world differently which particularly gets on her mother’s nerves. Still, it’s weird how fast she got used to these letters. At first, you’re intrigued by the mystery of who this stranger is, but then you’re just annoyed by the whole situation. In the first 250 pages, nothing happens - Sophie gets a new letter and then she reads it. Finally, she meets her teacher and they talk. It wasn’t much satisfying. The plot is just a device to get from one philosophy lesson to another and to be honest, it is boring. If the story consisted of only philosophy lessons, it would surely get 5 stars. With each letter, Alberto explains to Sophie each of the major philosophies and philosophers in the history of philosophy. He starts from the pre-Socratic philosophers and moves down to the contemporary philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and Existentialism. The book is like a recap of what I've learned in high school and university and I love it. It’s written in a light manner with short sentences and simple and clear language. No subject is thoroughly analyzed, nor it should be, but there’s enough information presented at each phase that a reader can form an opinion about each one. Gaarder does an excellent job at not just writing a concise history of philosophy, but also by writing a comprehensible book for everyone. But, as a novel, the book lacks proper plot, conflict, and climax. “Acting responsibly is not a matter of strengthening our reason but of deepening our feelings for the welfare of others.” Easily, this could pass as the book about growing up. We see clearly how Sophie is maturing with every letter that she receives, though it’s in question how realistic that development is. At times, she acted too arrogant for someone who doesn’t have much life experience, especially towards her mother. “The most subversive people are those who ask questions. Giving answers is not nearly as threatening. Any one question can be more explosive than a thousand answers.” For quotes like this, the book has such high value. “There is an artist in everyone. A dream is, after all, a little work of art, and there are new dreams every night.” And I love Gaarder’s notions of art. Sophie is a keen student, but she’s a very dull girl who can’t work her mind and is pretty unlikable. The author failed to give her real personality. Also, the way she’s treating her teacher and calling him names is irritable and only gave me even more reasons to not like her. Even more I didn't like how she easily accepted that some 40-year old man wants to give her any kind of lessons without her knowing who he is. “The philosopher had rescued her. The unknown letter writer had saved her from the triviality of everyday existence.” While it is wonderful to watch her into a perceptive young women, it was still pretentious at times. Yes, philosophy is a wonderful study, but it also takes time to process. It’s hard for me to grasp that 14-year old girl so easily understood and accepted everything she has read in the letters, when it usually takes at least two years to comprehend the laws of philosophy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sohaib

    “You’d better hurry up and cut the umbilical cord to your mortal progenitor. We no longer need their world.” Here is what I think: this is probably the simplest yet most comprehensive book about the history of philosophy. Certainly, it will keep you reading. Sophie's World tells the story of a fourteen-year old girl who, after a long school day, opens her mailbox to find a mysterious letter with this question only, “Who are you?” This leads to a minor identity crisis in front of her bathroom mirr “You’d better hurry up and cut the umbilical cord to your mortal progenitor. We no longer need their world.” Here is what I think: this is probably the simplest yet most comprehensive book about the history of philosophy. Certainly, it will keep you reading. Sophie's World tells the story of a fourteen-year old girl who, after a long school day, opens her mailbox to find a mysterious letter with this question only, “Who are you?” This leads to a minor identity crisis in front of her bathroom mirror and eventually to an entire course on the history of philosophy. The bulk of this book deals with history and philosophy against a postmodernist narrative. Dealing with the novel form as such, the book implicitly refers to literary devices like metafiction and intertextuality (adopting ideas from other novels and literature). You simply cannot ask more from one book! Words like history and philosophy and postmodernism are scary enough! Now down to spoilers! I hate to include so much plot, but felt it necessary to convey the brilliance of this novel. One thing I love about this book is that we read a story within a story and we don’t realize that until we’re 270 pages through. This is the art of metafiction: fiction about fiction, the way a novel calls attention to its fictitiousness, the making of fiction. Does that make sense? Think of Looney Tunes when, by end of one episode, the camera zooms out, revealing that Bugs Bunny was holding the brush all along and was screwing over Daffy Duck every time he tries something (or was it Sylvester? Wile E. Coyote maybe? I remember watching this as a child and hating every stroke of this sly overconfident manipulative ball of fur! The rabbit I mean). All the same, we know that Chuck Jones was the one holding the real brush. Same thing, minus Acme anvils but not talking animals, applies to this novel. The inside story is written by an author who, like Bugs, enjoys playing god and manipulating characters. On top of this author, the real author Jostien Gaarder manipulates everyone, readers and authors alike. And if this isn’t complicated enough, characters inside the interior text world scheme against their author with his own daughter. All in addition to a quirky incident where characters go and buy the book we’re reading. Yup! This one. This genius of metafictional interplay, I believe, coupled with the historical enterprise, is the reason why this is an international bestseller. Let us move to another interesting point: the ending of the interior narrative. The party happenings, which conclude in Sophie and her philosophy teacher’s escape into their author’s world, are reminiscent of hyperrealism (the absurd) and the apocalypse (bible). What can be more horrific than watching your own fourteen-year old daughter (that’s Joanna, Sophie’s bestie) having a sexual congress behind the front yard’s currant and you having the spirits to brush it aside like it’s nothing! And it doesn’t end there! She comes back ruddy with sweat, muddy in hair, and announces in front of the party that she’s going to have a baby! Again, to the reader’s surprise at everyone’s lack of it, the parents shrug this off okay with mama saying, “All right, but you’ll have to wait till you get home.” I know what you’re thinking. The end is near. In conclusion, this is a wonderful book, very informative, unusual and jaunty … A must-read especially if you are studying English literature … and contrary to what Alberto might think, this book obviously offers way more than mere bagatelles. This review is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

    If you are assigned this in a philo course, demand your money back. If you are reading this on your own, know that you are being lied to. Stand up for yourself. Refuse to be intellectually insulted. You'll come closer to real philosophical thought in a late=night bullshit session at your local fraternity.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mayy Wilde-Shakespeare

    "It's not a silly question if you can't answer it. " This book is packed with thought-provoking quotes as the one above, and that’s what this book is 'thought-provoking'. I’ve never read a book that fucked with my mind so much that I couldn’t read more than 20 pages at a time before setting it down and having a long and intense think on what I just read. I’ve always been interested in philosophy and anyone who is interested in philosophy will eat this up. The actual plot of the story is so imagin "It's not a silly question if you can't answer it. " This book is packed with thought-provoking quotes as the one above, and that’s what this book is 'thought-provoking'. I’ve never read a book that fucked with my mind so much that I couldn’t read more than 20 pages at a time before setting it down and having a long and intense think on what I just read. I’ve always been interested in philosophy and anyone who is interested in philosophy will eat this up. The actual plot of the story is so imaginative and lovely, I felt as though I was in the story and feeling what Sophie feels. The ending was both sad and happy at the same time and so beautiful and creative. But to be honest, there were some parts/chapters that read too much like a philosophy text book. But the amount of mind-fuckery I experienced while reading it out-weighed the boring parts by about 100.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Curie

    "Wasn’t it extraordinary to be in the world right now, wandering around in a wonderful adventure!" This is a book I have vivid memories seeing in my parents' bookshelf as I was growing up. I remember the copy they had, with its starry skied background and the dimly lit planet Earth hovering in the middle of it. For years I wondered what it was about, never quite daring to pick it up. A good decade later I have finally made the move and how happy I am that I did. Sophie's World is an extraordina "Wasn’t it extraordinary to be in the world right now, wandering around in a wonderful adventure!" This is a book I have vivid memories seeing in my parents' bookshelf as I was growing up. I remember the copy they had, with its starry skied background and the dimly lit planet Earth hovering in the middle of it. For years I wondered what it was about, never quite daring to pick it up. A good decade later I have finally made the move and how happy I am that I did. Sophie's World is an extraordinary novel, and so much more than that. When Sophie finds a letter in her mailbox containing the questions "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" it's the start of her journey through the history of philosophy, guided by a mysterious mentor, which whom she is going to figure out that they're part of a much bigger truth. The novel turned out to have way more of an educational feel to it than I expected, something that was able to take me by surprise (in a good way!). Most of the book consists of conversations between Sophie and her mentor Alberto Knox, with the girl asking questions and Alberto chronologically providing an engaging and accessible history of Philosophy. It's a wonderful source for knowledge and an overview of how time periods shaped philosophers and their theories: From Sokrates, Platon and Aristoteles we move to the Medieval only to then learn more about the Renaissance and the Romantic Period and concluding with Jean-Paul Sartre. It certainly doesn't cover all time periods, but then it never made the claim of being a textbook. Goethe is quoted saying: "He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth." It's an idea verbalising how understanding the past is necessary to comprehend one lives in now and it's a concept the book goes by. While providing knowledge it also delivers a smart and thought-provoking narrative, successfully blending entertainment with education. While Gaarder originally intended Sophie's World to be an introduction to Philosophy for older children, this is definitely a book that will be fascinating for anyone curious about the subject and those who are looking for a starting point, regardless of age.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.