PART ONE: SUMMARY AND REVIEW
PART TWO: CHAPTER XXX -- DARWIN
PART ONE: SUMMARY AND REVIEW
I. Note how the beginning the chapter builds on the IDEAS of the previous ones:
A. Page 96--Sophie stares at the mirror and the image winks back
B. Page 188--Sophie sees a girl in the mirror & dreams of Hilde and her father
C. Page 281--Alberto calls Sophie Hilde
D. Page 286--Hilde reads a book called Sophie's World
E. Page 295--Read Plotinus--In this a synthesis?
F. Page 298--note the motif of the mirror and the conclusion that Hilde exists.
G. Page 367--"philosophy is the mirror of the world spirit."
Pages 278 / 301--Is it too far fetched to say that The Major is like God? (World Spirit?)
Page 305--what does "starting from scratch" mean in terms of Hegel (Macrocosm), and Kierkegaard (Microcosm)?
Page 306 / 308--are the characters free, has all of this been thought out (Hegel?) by the Major?
Page 318--What role does Kant play philosophically? (Note the link to Hilde from her father.)
Page 351--What is the importance of the Aladdin episode--who is the spirit?
IMPLICATIONS FOR SOPHIE and HILDE
Four great issues of Philosophy :
The problem of change
|What the novel has revealed
She gets mail
She sees a red scarf
But all does not makes sense BUT WHOSE POINT OF VIEW?
She sees her teacher in Athens
|She learns of Hilde
Dreams and reality-
The problem of the cross
Berkeley and Spinoza and the role of Mind
Is there a larger consciousness?
There is a similarity between Alberto Knox and Albert Knag
The major turning
Sophie is a character in a novel for Hilde done by her dad
THE PROBLEM THIS POSES
|What is the relationship between the created and the creator
the romantic perspective
Eve & Adam : God :: Creature / Frankenstein
|Consider the following:
What is the dialectic, and is there a synthesis?
Can the created out think the creator / know more???
THE MORAL CLIMATE:
|THE CHANGE DIALECTICALLY IS FROM
MEDIEVAL / RENAISSANCE = METAPHYSICS
WHAT DO SOPHIE AND HILDE EXPERIENCE? WHY? WHAT DO THEIR TEACHERS WANT?
ANOTHER LITERARY PARALLEL
|-BECOMING IS THE FUNDAMENTAL FEATURE OF
ALL EXISTENCE: HILDE = REBEL = FATHER
In Sophies World, Hilde reads about a girl named Sophie in a story, and yet she knows that Sophie was more than just paper and ink. She really existed. The idea of a literary character existing independently from the mind of the creator of the story seems at first almost ludicrous. After all, the author forms the entire identity and persona of each character in his literature.
Yet in Hamlet, the reader finds a character so expansive and self-sufficient, he needs no outside force to create an ironic dualism between his public persona and his true identity. He is, according to Bloom, his own intellectual ironist [he] can seem an actual person who somehow has been caught inside a play, so that he has to perform even though he doesnt want to. Perhaps Hamlet is (ironically) also trapped inside the literary Work of William Shakespeare, and his consciousness as a philosopher extends even past the boundaries of his creator"
Bloom, Harold: Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, and Hamlet: Poem Unlimited.
II. Based on the above, recall the most important question philosophy asks:
"WHAT IS REASONABLE TO BELIEVE?"
Can the created out-think the creator, and
WHY IS THIS THE CENTRAL IDEA OF THE
NOVEL. WHY DOES IT MATTER?
A. Is it reasonable to believe that Sophie and Alberto can influence Hilde to trick her father when all of them have been created by the Major in the first place? (pp. 356-357)? WHY IS KIERKEGAARD SO IMPORTANT HERE?-- PP. 368 ff.
B. What if there is an author writing about Hilde's father!
IV. WHAT SYNTHESIS APPEARS ON PAGE 377-378? [THE BLUE AND THE RED BOTTLE.]
A. Based on the Synthesis, HILDE LAUNCHES HER PLAN...(p. 382)--
A PHILOSOPHICAL GARDEN PARTY.
B. Recall what MARX had to do with the plan being launched--remember the fictional characters: Scrooge, the financial advisor, and the match girl.
PART TWO: CHAPTER XXX -- DARWIN
Hilde awakens and beings to read....
I. Evolution: Noah Interrupts Sophie and Alberto--why does he appear here?
II. The rejection of ideologies that enslave vs. naturalism:
A. Freud--psychological evolution, and although not mentioned by Gaarder, Jung's archetypes, especially the journey and shadow should be studied. We all have a shadow. Does Hilde? Sophie? Alberto? the Major?
B. Marx--historical and economic evolution
C. Darwin--organic evolution; where is God?
III. HMS Beagle--1831-1836 to study nature in South America
A. Origin of Species and Descent of Man: Although Darwin for personal reasons involving the death of his daughter, and the apparent harshness of nature drifted toward agnosticism, he undoubtedly would have been horrified at how his idea were presented:
Excerpts on the role of the creator and the development of morals from ORIGIN OF SPECIES and DESCENT OF MAN ADDRESSING THE ROLE OF GOD AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF MAN'S MORAL CONSCIOUSNESS:
Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved
From Origin of Species
The moral faculties are generally and justly esteemed as of higher value than the intellectual powers. But we should bear in mind that the activity of the mind in vividly recalling past impressions is one of the fundamental though secondary bases of conscience. This affords the strongest argument for educating and stimulating in all possible ways the intellectual faculties of every human being. No doubt a man with a torpid mind, if his social affections and sympathies are well developed, will be led to good actions, and may have a fairly sensitive conscience. But whatever renders the imagination more vivid and strengthens the habit of recalling and comparing past impressions, will make the conscience more sensitive, and may even somewhat compensate for weak social affections and sympathies.
The moral nature of man has reached its present standard, partly through the advancement of his reasoning powers and consequently of a just public opinion, but especially from his sympathies having been rendered more tender and widely diffused through the effects of habit, example, instruction, and reflection. It is not improbable that after long practice virtuous tendencies may be inherited. With the more civilised races, the conviction of the existence of an all-seeing Deity has had a potent influence on the advance of morality. Ultimately man does not accept the praise or blame of his fellows as his sole guide, though few escape this influence, but his habitual convictions, controlled by reason, afford him the safest rule. His conscience then becomes the supreme judge and monitor. Nevertheless the first foundation or origin of the moral sense lies in the social instincts, including sympathy; and these instincts no doubt were primarily gained, as in the case of the lower animals, through natural selection.
The belief in God has often been advanced as not only the greatest, but the most complete of all the distinctions between man and the lower animals. It is however impossible, as we have seen, to maintain that this belief is innate or instinctive in man. On the other hand a belief in all-pervading spiritual agencies seems to be universal; and apparently follows from a considerable advance in man's reason, and from a still greater advance in his faculties of imagination, curiosity and wonder. I am aware that the assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for His existence. But this is a rash argument, as we should thus be compelled to believe in the existence of many cruel and malignant spirits, only a little more powerful than man; for the belief in them is far more general than in a beneficent Deity. The idea of a universal and beneficent Creator does not seem to arise in the mind of man, until he has been elevated by long-continued culture.
From: Descent of Man
These paragraphs are not generally known. What are the implications for the development of Sophie and Hilde in relation to the Major?
B. survival of the fittest and natural selection
C. struggle to survive / adaptation
D. environment (today: heredity)
E. role of God? How do the above selections apply to the creator-created relationship we have been tracing?
F. Social Darwinism--Spencer and Sumner's doctrines popularized Darwin economically setting up a dialectic. Later, the Financial Advisor will share some reflections at the party.
IV. Conversation interrupted by Adam and Eve--why are they here? (p. 412)
V. How did the universe and life begin?
A. Faust and Thomas Hardy's writings conclude the chapter:
B. Examine the poem on page 421--What dialectic is established? Consider the bliss of experience vs. one's (inevitable?) oblivion. Does the concluding poem on page 422 offer a synthesis? One of Shakespeare's Sonnets does:
Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And oft' is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
D. ARE THE TWO BOTTLES PRESENT ?
DARWIN has been frequently misinterpreted; a movement loosely based on his biological theories known as Social Darwinism attempted to apply (or misapply) his theories to sociological and economic issues. The results varied quite widely--from laissez-faire economics compatible with the industrial evolution to the holocaust.
The social theorists included:
A book worth examining is Jung's The Archetypes and the Collective Unconsciousness, Vol. 9, Part I.
CLICK ON SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS FOR SELECTIONS FROM DARWIN AND SOME EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS from Gutek's A HISTORY OF THE WESTERN EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE.