Month: February 2012

Jostein Gaarder : Sophie’s World

When I first read this book in 1995 I found nothing better to write about it than “een heel bijzonder boek!” (a very special book!). Having read it a second time I’d definitely stand by that judgement, but I have a lot more to say about it now, and not only because I have more time to write these days. While I’ve always been interested in philosophical questions (even if for a long time I found the answers coming from the east more interesting than those from the west) I don’t think I could really have said in 1995 that I had anything resembling a personal philosophical system. Nowadays I wouldn’t hesitate to assert that I do, and a large part of the interest for me in re-reading this book was to compare the thoughts of the great philosophers of the past to my own thoughts on the same subjects. I’ll get to the results of this comparison later, but to stay with the book itself for a while, it certainly is “een heel bijzonder boek” in more ways than one. First and foremost it’s a very informative introduction to western philosophy for anyone, young or otherwise, who doesn’t know that much about it. I’m sure I know more about it than most people, and I definitely know a lot more now than I did in 1995, but I still found this book very useful, not least for its clear and concise reminders of things I’d read about years ago but not thought much about since. But on the other hand, neither would I claim that this book had nothing new to teach me. (more…)