Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sophie’s World

Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World has been adapted into a Norwegian television series. For those unfamiliar, Sophie’s World is the story of Sophie’s introduction to philosophy via a series of lectures delivered by a dog (in brown envelopes). The novel combines history of philosophy with simple introductions to some of the key thinkers within the guise of an elaborate post-modernist novel (think Umberto Eco). It isn’t Gaarder’s best novel, though it is quite novel.

SBS will be screening the series on Fridays, starting this week, at 8.30 pm.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Such cool handwriting. If your more than a product of your parents who are you? A filler of space, user of atoms… Infantile speculations get you nowhere but how do you know the maturity of your ideas. How do you know if you really have something?

MH said...

If you can tell us how to know when we ‘have something’ it would be most appreciated … The simple fact is, in this vast field of intellectual endeavour, you seldom know if you are anywhere near the correct path (or even if you are on the correct field). But in philosophy it doesn’t seem to matter that you are mistaken, because mistakes assist others in finding their way, it only matters that you be prepared to acknowledge your errors when they are demonstrated. I think that this is the point of maturity in philosophical thinking; you hold a position only so long as it remains defensible. The positions produced by immature speculation are held almost in faith, and subjected to little criticism, while the positions of mature thought are criticised before being held, and are held until they are shown to be wrong.

The one way that philosophers do have for knowing if they are on the right track is seeing if someone else, in our grande tradition, has had a similar thought before. If they have, then it is more than likely that you have stumbled onto something which is more than probably wrong. But then, at least you don’t feel like you’ve been barking up the wrong tree.

Cooly McCool said...

You're a class act Martin.

I think the curse of the philosophy nut is caused by a bizarre over-valuation of 'truth' as being more important than anything else. It tends to really shit people. It also breeds an unhealthy cynical nature.

Although not too bad at for what it was, that tv series doesn't seem in threat of spreading too much of it. I don't think I would have made sense of any of it, or finding it particularily interesting if I didn't have some philosophical knowledge prior. All in all I'll give it a two and a half on the leonard Malton scale (i.e. out of 4). It kind of works because you can forgive cornishness in anything foreign really. That's what SBS is all about. That and nudity and harvey birdman. How was Dr Who though! That Dalek was the man.

MH said...

I do my best ...

Pete said...

well spoke Cooly. That Dalek was indeed the man, nudity and Harvey Birdman do make a great television network and truth is sure as shit far too over-rated.

Samuel Douglas said...

Truth is overrated? Oh why didn't someone tell me earlier? My whole life has been a waste.

Pete, if it is so overrated, why your facinatio with the correspondance theory of truth?

Rowan: Clearly as you do not over-value truth, you never shit people

Pete said...

"facinatio"- what a great word!!

ok so just to make myself clear: Sam, I am in league with the pragmatists/Nietzscheans of this world. Our take is that truth is far to overrated by philosophers in general. What matters is what we can do. Any claim about "what we know to be true" is just mindless bollocking. As for my facinatio with the correspondance theory: it, like logical positivism, existentialism, objectivism and certain other commonly held dichotomies that shall remain nameless are among some of my favourite things to burn.

Cooly McCool said...

My comment was more self refelctive than an attack on anyone else. It is interesting that we do have a desire to arrive at some 'truth' in what we do, yet we all have the prior realization that we are wrong. Further, most of us are happy to accept that there is no absolute truth, yet engage in a process of truth seeking. If it doesn't win friends, whats the point of it? Cursed ratchet effects. I hate the inventor of ratchets with all my heart.