Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sophie's World

I've been really into a lot of philosophy-related books lately. This one, by Jostein Gaarder, is "a novel about the history of philosophy." It's a great read, and I think the author did a fantastic job of that whole melding-fiction-with-lecture style. It's a fascinating read. But my main complaint comes mostly from the fact that I read Ishmael just before this: this book is extremely human-centered and egotistical. That is, the whole history of philosophy is full of people talking about how and why man is at the top of everything and what we should do and blah blah blah, and the book never takes issue with that whole "man at the center" philosophy itself. Oh, yes, there's ONE SENTENCE towards the end about current philosophy directions that says one such direction is to think that maybe man isn't so goshdarn special. And point taken that we have to understand the history of philosophy to see where it might be going and all that. But geez. It's disheartening, seeing so much evidence of how little humankind can conceive of itself as equal to other life.

Still, a good read. It would be GREAT if you were going to take a philosophy course in high school or college, or if you just had finished one, and so on. And it happens to be fun!

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