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Sophie's World: a Novel about the…

Sophie's World: a Novel about the History of Philosopy (original 1991; edition 1997)

by Jostein Gaarder

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13,033192175 (3.77)128
Title:Sophie's World: a Novel about the History of Philosopy
Authors:Jostein Gaarder
Info:Penguin Putnam Inc (1997), Edition: Open market ed, Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, read in 2013

Work details

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder (1991)

  1. 51
    The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder (Percevan)
  2. 31
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (missmaddie)
    missmaddie: As the main characters develop, they also uncover fascinating mysteries with philosophical/psychological significance. Very intellectual reads with twisted, intense plots!
  3. 00
    The Amnesiac by Sam Taylor (GirlMisanthrope)
  4. 11
    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn (weeksj10)
    weeksj10: Their both lecture style novels which use fiction to present a variety of different thoughts and philosophies.
  5. 02
    Det store eventyret om virkeligheten : en fantastisk fortelling om den nye fysikken by Jack Falao (Percevan)
  6. 03
    Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede (missmaddie)
    missmaddie: Both books contain letter correspondence, and they also both have supernatural/fantasy elements. Likable girls as the main characters.

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» See also 128 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
Perhaps I should reread this. I have wonderful memories of trying to grasp that metaphor for life presented - we are a flea on a hair of the rabbit being pulled out of a magician's hat. The act of creation is still in process and we are witness and participant. I remember introducing this book to my brother and his enjoyment of it as well. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
Tried to read this because it was one of the few my youngest, most 'successful' brother recommended to me. I don't think I managed to finish it. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
I read and I thought and I struggled right along with Sophie through the history of philosophy right to the end. I questioned myself, society, and whether I existed or not (that was bunches of fun). I was completely sold on the philosopher’s way of life. How admirable is it to have an unquenchable thirst for wisdom? But after I finally reached the 507th page, I reached this conclusion: I think I will remain warm and cozy at the roots of the rabbit’s hair, because I choose happiness over being right…I know what makes me happy and it is not asking questions about my existence! However, if you philosophers come up with the real answer, do tell me. I doubt it will happen in my lifetime. Sorry if I’m being a pessimist  Who knows, maybe if I had more time to read this book I might have reacted differently. (I only had a few days D: )Urgh…..I will nevertheless be enduring a year a half of the Theory of Knowledge. Wish me luck…maybe it will grow on me. ( )
  katieray | Mar 29, 2015 |
The content of this book is absolutely thrilling for me. However, the middle of the plot-line became, after about 100 pages or so, much too dense for my liking. I found myself very intrigued in the first 1/3 of the book, but my inspiration and excitement waned after I realized it might just be one long lecture on the history of philosophy after all. Still, the underlying story line of Sophie and the world in which she lives, not to mention the ending, are fun and enticing enough to keep reading. Worth the pages. ( )
  ReverendMoon | Jan 26, 2015 |

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) ( )
  Floratina | Jan 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
As philoso-narrative, "Sophie's World" is a world above "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" but a universe below "The Magic Mountain." In my view, literate readers would do better to try Bertrand Russell's "History of Western Philosophy," which is shorter on magic but longer on wit, intelligence and curmudgeonly skepticism.

» Add other authors (40 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jostein Gaarderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eriksson, MonaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haefs, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klok, JankeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Møller, PauletteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pijttersen, LucyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savolainen, KatriinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snoeijing, KimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, PaulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He who cannot draw on three thousand years

is living from hand to mouth.

"Colui che non è in grado di darsi conto di
tremila anni rimane al buio e vive alla giornata".

First words
Sophie Amundsen was on her way home from school.
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Book description
Deze roman over de geschiedenis van de filosofie is een spannend verhaal, een detective en een filosofie-geschiedenis in één: een intrigerende roman die iedereen zal aanspreken die iets over zichzelf en de wereld om zich heen wil leren.
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One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, with one question on each: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" From that irrestistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrolls in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while receiving letters addressed to another girl. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must use the pilosophy she is learning--but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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