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Sophies World

- Jostein Gaarder (b. 1952 in Oslo, Norway)

He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth -Goethe
(One who has learned nothing from three thousand years of history, is intellectually

CHAPTER 1: The Garden of Eden

At some point, something must have come from nothing
- It was in early May. Sophie Amundsen and her friend, Joanna, was on their way
home from school. Joanna talked about how the human brain was like an
advance computer but Sophie did not think so.
- Sophie lived on the outskirts of a sprawling suburb (3 Clover Close)
- Sophies father was the captain of a big oil tanker (Mexico)
- Who are you? Response: looked at the mirror and asked who are you


Goldfish Budgerigars Tortoise Marmalade Cat
1. Goldtop 4. Black Jack 6. Govinda 7. Sherikan
2. Red Ridinghood 5. Smule
3. Black Jack

- Her dad originally wanted to call her Lillemor

- She was asking her reflection who are you?
- She was often dissatisfied with her appearance (1) Almond-shaped eyes (2)
Nose was too small and her mouth was a bit too big (3) Ears were much too
close to her eyes (4) Straight hair which she cannot do anything about (5) Girl
with flaxen hair by a piece after Claude Debussy (pale-yellowish gray)
- Sophies mom had undergone difficult labor
- Sophies grandma had been dead for 6 months already
- While concentrating about being alive, thought of dying came into her mind
- You cant experience being alive without realizing that you have to die
- Where does the world come from? Response: I dont know it wasnt
right to live without at least inquiring where it came from; got very confuse
- Her top-secret hiding place was the den, she has a red house surrounded by a
garden with lots of flowerbeds, fruit bushes, fruit trees; a spacious lawn with
glider and a little gazebo Granddad built for Grandma when they lost their child
- Hilde Moller Knag- Happy 15th Birthday!
- Who placed the three envelopes?
- Difficulty of questions
- Who is Hilde Moller Knag?

CHAPTER 2: The Top Hat

The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder
- Sophie has been mean to Joanna, rejecting her offer to play cards and
- Course in philosophy: handle with care
- What is Philosophy?;
- We are the white rabbit being pulled out of the hat unlike the rabbit, we feel
that we are part of something mysterious that we would like to know about
- Compare to whole universe: we who live here are the microscopic insects
existing deep down in the rabbits fur. Philosophers are always trying to climb up
the fine hairs of the fur in order to stare right into the magicians eye
- A Strange Creature
- Babies have the faculty of wonderlooks around and reaches out in curiosity to
everything it sees; world becomes a habit as a person grows older thats why
faculty of wonder diminishes
o Ex. Mom has learned that people cannot fly thats why she screamed in
fright after seeing dad fly. Baby Thomas has not learned that yet thats
why he got astonished.

- In the process of growing up, we lose the ability to wonder about the world, that
life is a huge mystery
- Some crawl deep into the rabbits furs and stay there for the rest of their lives
- All are born at the very tip of the rabbits fine hairs
- The philosopher had saved her from the triviality of everyday existenceas if
she was reborn and have seen the world for the very first time

CHAPTER 3: The Myths

A precarious balance between the forces of good and evil
- Some crawl deep into the rabbits furs and stay there for the rest of their lives
- The Mythological World Picture
- Myth is a story about gods which explains life
Thor of Norway Worshipped as God of Fertility
When there is thunder and lightning, there is also rain,
which is important to the Viking farmers
Mythological explanation for rain was therefore that
Thor was swinging his hammer
Hammer comes back to him just like a boomerang
Freyja Goddess of Fertility
If giants capture her, nothing would grow in the fields
and women will not have children
Midgard inhabited world
Utgard domain of treacherous giants; forces of chaos
Offering Making an offering increases gods power
Offering to Thor was usually a goat
Offering to Odin sometimes took in form of human
The Lay of Thrym Thor finds out that his hammer is gone, which made
him so angry.
He and his henchman Loki went to Freyja to ask if Loki
may borrow his wings so he can fly to Jotunheim, the
land of the giants.
Thrym wont give back the hammer unless they give
Freyja to him for marriage
Situation is deadlocked. If they give him Freyja,
everyone dies.
Thor dress up as a bride
Hammer was laid in the brides lap; Thor kills Thrym
with it
**When theres drought, could it be that the giants had
stolen Thors hammer? equates to changing of

- Norse gods: Thor, Odin, Freyr, Freyja, Hoder, Balder

- Greek gods: Zeus, Apollo, Hera, Athene, Dionysos, Ascelpios, Heraclesm
- 700 BC: much of Greek mythology was written by Homer and Hesiod
- Xenophanes (570 BC) men have created gods in their own image
- People made up all those myths in the time before there was anything called

CHAPTER 4: The Natural Philosophers

Nothing can come from nothing
- Mom teased Sophie for getting a love letter
- Is there a basic substance that everything else is made of? Can water turn
into wine? How can earth a water produce a live frog?
- The Philosophers Project
- Philosophy gradually liberated itself from religion
Existence of single basic substance as the source of all things
Thales Source of all things was water; all life originated from
water and all life returns to water once it is dissolved
(way water turns to ice or vapor; crops began to grow as
soon as floods of Nile receded from the land areas;
frogs appear during rainy season)
all things are full of gods we can only surmise;
imagined that earth was filled with tine invisible life-
Anaximander substance which is the source of all things had to be
something other than the things created
because all created things are limited, things that must
have come before and after them must be boundless
and is not only made out of a single element as ordinary
as water
Anaximenes source of all things must be air or vapor
Familiar to Thales water theory, but where does water
come from?
Water was condensed air, Fire was rarefied air
therefore earth, wind, and fire all came from air


How could one substance suddenly change into something else? AKA problem of
**Parminedes Everything that exists had always existed (an idea not
alien for Greeks)
nothing could Nothing can come out of nothing and nothing that
change exists can become nothing
No such thing as actual change; nothing could
our sensory become anything other than it was
perceptions Realized that nature is a constant state of flux but his
must therefore reason doesnt equate with his senses that things
be unreliable change; HE CHOSE REASON OVER HIS SENSES
Our senses give us an incorrect picture of the world;
rationalist doesnt believe things even if he sees with his own
Rationalism human reason is the main source of our
knowledge in the world
Heraclitus Contemporary of Parminedes
(Ephesus from Everything flows
Asia Minor) Everything is in constant flux and movement; it is the
most basic characteristic of nature
constant state cannot step twice into the same river
of change World is characterized by opposites (Ex. If we were
never ill, we would not know what is was to be well);
sensory good and bad have their inevitable place in the order of
perceptions are things
reliable God was something that embraced the whole world; can
be seen most clearly in the constant transformations
and contrasts of nature
Used logos which means reason instead of God
we humans dont think alike but there must be a kind of
Universal reason or law that is common to us all
which guides everything that happens in nature
Empedocles cause of basic disagreement between Parmanides and
(Sicily) Heraclitus was their assumption that there is only one
there is no one Parmanides is right that nothing changes and everything
element is everlasting because fish cannot turn into butterfly and
pure water will continue to be pure water
Four elements or roots: Earth, air, fire, and water
Everything is a mixture of all elements but varying in
proportions (ex. Mixing different colors of paint can
create another color but one color will continue being
the same color without mixing it to another color)
Love combines all elements and strife separates them
from each other
Eyes consist of all four elements thats why we can see
everything that is around us; had your eyes lack any you
wont be able to see natures entirety
Anaxagoras Also believed that there is no one element
Four elements cannot be transformed to blood and
first bone
philosopher Nature is built up of infinite number of minute particles
from Athens invisible to the eye; everything can be divided into even
originally from smaller parts; even in the minutest parts there are
Asia Minor fragments of all other things (Ex. if skin and bone are
not a transformation of something else, there must also
be skin in bone in our food and drinks); The whole
exists in each tiny part
Seeds miniscule particles
Order as a type of force (force mind or
Accused of atheism; Sun was not a god but a red-hot
stone bigger than the entire Peloponnesian peninsula
Interested in astronomy
All heavenly bodies are made of the same substance as
Moon has no light of its own; its light coming from earth
Thought up an explanation for solar eclipse
Democritus Agreed that transformations in nature could not be due
(Abdera on the to the fact that anything actually changed
Northern Everything was build-up of tiny invisible blocks called
Aegean coast) atoms (uncuttable); natures blocks had to be eternal
like Parmenides said
only believed in Atoms were firm and solid that are unlimited in number
atoms and void and shape/texture/size
(space); world
is made of
small parts that When a living thing dies, its atoms coming from its body
never changed and soul could be used again to form new bodies and
materialist Everything flows like what Heraclitus said, but
behind everything that flowed were eternal and
sense immutable things that did not flow called atoms
perception Man has no spiritual forces in life unlike Empedocles
and Anaxagoras
Man had no immortal soul
Did not believed in faith

Natural Socrates
Mythology Philosophers and Plato Aristotle
Persons Rational

CHAPTER 5: Democritus
The most ingenious toy in the world
- Why is Lego the most ingenious toy in the world? you can build anything
out of it because its eternal with different shapes, sizes
- Democritus

The fortune teller is trying to foresee something that is really quite unforeseeable
- Do you believe in Fate? Is sickness the punishment of the gods? What
forces govern the course of history?
- Black cat, horoscopes, knock on wood, Friday the Thirteenth
- Fatalism whatever happens is predestined; Greeks are form believers of this
- Nordic: Lagnadan or fate
- Greek: Oracle
- Norwegians: traces of coffee grounds form an image or pattern (ex. If it
resembles a car, the person who drank from the cup is going for a long
Fate as perceived by the Greeks
The Oracle at Greeks believe that they could consult the oracle regarding
Delphi their faith
(Greeks) Apollo is the god of oracle; Pythia was his mouthpiece
People present their questions to the priests who passed it
on to Pythia who in return gives out ambiguous answers
Know Thyself! is the famous inscription found over the
entrance to the temple (no man can escape his destiny; ex.
Play about tragic people like King Oedipus)

History and History is governed by fate as well
medicine Gods could make people well again if they made the
appropriate sacrifices
Influenza malign influence from the stars

Hippocrates Father of Greek Medicine
(from island Moderation and a healthy lifestyle are the most essential
of Cos) safeguards against sickness
Moderation, harmony, sound mind in a sound body
A doctor must maintain professional secrecy, which means
keeping in private what a patient has told him about his/her

- Sophie found a red silk scarf with the name Hilde hanging on her bedroom wall at
the end of the chapter

CHAPTER 7: Socrates
Wisest is she who knows she does not know
ALBERTO KNOX name of the philosopher
Sophie is 15 y/o
The messenger was Hermes (messenger of gods in Greek Mythology;
hermetic hidden or inaccessible), a Labrador, thats why the philosopher
requested to put a lump of sugar and cookie
Sophists a group of itinerant teachers and philosophers from the Greek
Protagoras, a Sophist, said that man in the measure of all things the question
of whether a thing is good or bad depends on the persons needs; on being
asked if he believes in Greek gods, he replied: The question is complex and life
is short (agnosticism)

Individual and inviduals place in the society
Rationalist (has Rationalist Used his reason and
unshakable faith in Totalitarian senses
human reason) Theory of Ideas Dry and precise as
The only thing I know is We can never have true encyclopedia unlike
that I know nothing knowledge of anything that
is in a constant state of Plato whos a poet and
change mythologist
Never wrote a Pupil of Socrates, Nature is the real
single line the one who put into world
Was very ugly: writing Socrates Plato nature is just
potbellied, bulging teachings a reflection of the
eyes, snub nose Was 29 y/o when higher reality of the
Was sentenced to Socrates drank the world
death for his hemlock Man has no innate
philosophical First deed as a ideas-reason cannot
activities philosopher was to be generated unless
He just asked publish Socrates you sensed
questions as if he Apology (account of something
knew nothing (art of his plea to the large Substance before
discourse) to help jury), after which he form
people to give published Epistles Plants and other
birth to the correct and Dialogues creatures (animals
insight (believed that his and humans)
Plays ignorant to principal works must Mans form: plant-
force people to use be preserved) like, animal,
their common sense Built his own school rational part
(Socratic irony) of philosophy called Man can only
Accused of the Academy achiever happiness
introducing new (philosophy, by using all his
gods and corrupting mathematics, abilities and
the youth gymnastics) capabilities
Did not consider Concerned with Pleasure and
himself as a sophist the relationship enjoyment, free and
(a learned or wise between what is responsible citizen,
person) and did not eternal and thinker and
teach for money; immutable (nature, philosopher
rather, he called morals, society) Rejected all forms
himself as a like Pre-Socratics of imbalance
philosopher (one All things are Monarchy,
who loves wisdom) fashioned after aristocracy, polity
Joker in Athens; another (democracy)
neither certain nor ideas Women were
indifferent reality behind the incomplete; man is
Oracle said hes the material world; the form woman is
wisest man of all world of ideas the substance
mortals Reality is divided
Eternal and into two regions:
absolute rules for world of senses-
what is right or everything flows
wrong unlike and nothing is
Sophists who permanent and
believes it just world of ideas-true
varies in each city knowledge with the
state use of reason
Out of the
darkness of the
cave (myth of Plato;
similar to what
happened to
Socrates; Utopian
Head, chest,

Body Soul Virtue State

Head Reason Wisdom Rulers
Chest Will Courage Auxiliaries
Abdomen Appetite Temperance Laborers

Both Jesus and Socrates are enigmatic personalities and neither of them wrote
any of their teachings, both are masters of the art of discourse, both spoke with a
characteristic self-assuredness that could fascinate as well as exasperate,
challenged power of community by criticizing all forms of injustice and corruption,
activities cost them their lives, met and accepted their death so bravely they
commanded an enormous following
A philosopher knows that in reality he knows very little, that there is a lot that he
does not understand

CHAPTER 8: Athens
Alberto Knox- blue beret
Parthenon Virgins place; biggest temple; built in honor of Athene, Goddess
of Athens
Dionysos Theater oldest theatre in Europe
King Oedipus Sophocles
Aristophanes writer of comedies
Areopagos Athenian high court of justice
Acropolis, agora
Questions raised by Plato in the video: (1) how a baker can bake 50
absolutely identical cookies (answer: he uses the same pastry mold for all of
them) (2) why all horses are the same (3) whether man has an immortal soul
(4) whether men and women are equally sensible

Anne hellen Jeremy joanna
Hellenism salvation from death

cynics (suffering and death did not disturbed them, health doesnt concern them, walang
pake), stoics (against sophists and with Socrates that reason does not vary due to time
and space, all natural processes such as sickness and death follow unbreakable laws of
nature, man must learn to accept his destiny and nothing happens accidentally, accept
happy events, external events are unimportant does not let his feelings take over),
epicureans (avoid pain at all cost, YOLO, live in the moment)

Neoplatonism the one, darkness