This is part of a series of posts about Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy. I’m reading it in tandem with nomadic blogger Amateur on the Loose as a kind of virtual book club experiment.

my approach

My notes on SW will be questions, quotes, and my own vaguely-formed observations. In the beginning at least the pages will be broken up to match the letters Sophie receives.

My intent is to provide material for AotL and I to chew on in backchannel discussion.

I will frequently allude to concepts in shorthand (as in normal conversation) assuming the reader is aware of or can quickly research them. I might say “marshmallow test” as shorthand for a larger set of concepts involving personality and delayed gratification. If I have decent bandwidth (and the inclination) at that moment I might link to a relevant wiki article or some other source.

biases and influences

I am not a philosopher. I do, however, try to think consistently, see the Big Picture, and try to avoid sophistry. As an undergraduate I took PHIL courses from Herr Doktor Professor Miroslav Hanak, a polymath and dedicated teacher. He could understand and explain all positions, even if he did not agree with them. I aspire to his exemplary curiosity and intellectual rigor.

One of my favorite books is Philosopher’s Alice, a version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass annoted with observations from the history of Philosophy. I do not have the knowledge or ability to do that for SW, but reading PA surely informs my approach.

my notes