Sophie's World

Sophie's World

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A page-turning novel as well as an exploration of the great philosophical concepts of Western thought, Sophie's World-with more than thirty million copies in print-has fired the imaginations of readers all over the world.

One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, each with a question: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" From this irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through successive letters, she enrolls in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while also 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 philosophy she is learning-but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756990695
Publisher: Perfection Learning Corporation
Publication date: 01/28/2010
Pages: 518
Sales rank: 240,508
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

The Garden of Eden: at some point something must have come from nothing 3

The Top Hat: the only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder 12

The Myths: a precarious balance between the forces of good and evil 23

The Natural Philosophers: nothing can come from nothing 30

Democritus: the most ingenious toy in the world 43

Fate: the "fortune-teller" is trying to foresee something that is really quite unforeseeable 49

Socrates: wisest is she who knows she does not know 58

Athens: several tall buildings had risen from the ruins 73

Plato: a longing to return to the realm of the soul 79

The Major's Cabin: the girl in the mirror winked with both eyes 94

Aristotle: a meticulous organizer who wanted to clarify our concepts 104

Hellenism: a spark from the fire 120

The Postcards: I'm imposing a severe censorship on myself 138

Two Cultures: the only way to avoid floating in a vacuum 147

The Middle Ages: going only part of the way is not the same as going the wrong way 162

The Renaissance: O divine lineage in mortal guise 185

The Baroque: such stuff as dreams are made on 213

Descartes: he wanted to clear all the rubble off the site 230

Spinoza: God is not a puppeteer 244

Locke: as bare and empty as a blackboard before the teacher arrives 253

Hume: commit it then to the flames 263

Berkeley: like a giddy planet round a burning sun 278

Berkeley: like a giddy planet round a burning sun 278

Bjerkely: an old magic mirror Great-grandmother had bought from a Gypsy woman 283

The Enlightenment: from the way needles are made to the way cannons are founded 299

Kant: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me 318

Romanticism: the path of mystery leads inwards 338

Hegel: the reasonable is that which is viable 356

Kierkegaard: Europe is on the road to bankruptcy 368

Marx: a spectre is haunting Europe 381

Darwin: a ship sailing through life with a cargo of genes 399

Freud: the odious egoistic impulse that had emerged in her 423

Our Own Time: man is condemned to be free 441

The Garden Party: a white crow 465

Counterpoint: two or more melodies sounding together 479

The Big Bang: we too are stardust 498

Index 509

Reading Group Guide 519

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