Sophie's World

Sophie's World

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 irresistible 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 correspon...

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Title:Sophie's World
Author:Jostein Gaarder
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Edition Language:English

Sophie's World Reviews

  • 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.

  • Ahmad  Ebaid
  • 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

  • Manny

    Basically, Russell's

    adapted as a postmodern Norwegian YA novel. Or if you want more details:

    Basically, Russell's

    adapted as a postmodern Norwegian YA novel. Or if you want more details:

  • 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.

    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.

    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

    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

    . 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.

    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.

    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.

    Read

    , 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 💔!!!

  • 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

    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.

  • 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.

  • Nandakishore Varma

    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

    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.

    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).

    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

    by Will Durant, which is a much better book and much more exciting.

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