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Identity in “Sophie’s World” by Jostein Gaarder

Problem of identity

The problem of identity has perplexed great philosophers for many centuries and has resulted in differing philosophical views. Many philosophers hold that identity is an inherent characteristic that lies deep like human existence and attempts to unravel it calls for an understanding of other entities that intricately link and define life. Rene Descartes in his efforts to define his identity invented a system of doubt arguing that, since he can think, it, therefore, follows that he exists.

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Thus, the identity of human beings rests on the fact that they can think about their nature relative to other bodies in the environment that do have the capacity to think. In the novel, Sophie’s World, Albert Knox is a philosopher who teaches Sophie Amundsen that identity in life is very essential as it gives the real meaning of life. Albert Knox argues that questioning identity and existence is critical for one to achieve the full meaning of life. To understand the problem of identity, the essay explores how the novel, Sophie’s world, and my thoughts perceive identity.

Sophie’s World identity

In his efforts to immersed Sophie Amundsen, a fourteen-year-old girl, Alberto Knox expands her mind by teaching her about ancient philosophical myths and natural philosophy. Exposure to the philosophical world confused Sophie Amundsen because she was too young to understand the mysteries of life and thus did not realize her identity in life. Sophie learned about great philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle who struggled during their times to achieve and realize their identity amidst a complex of nature. According to Sophie’s World, Socrates is the most impressive philosopher for he was too wise to realize his identity as a novice.

Through the ancient times, Socrates searched for wisdom to define his identity and eventually discovered that he knew nothing yet many considered him wise, and he was indeed wise. Therefore, Sophie Amundsen immersed herself into the world of philosophy to define her identity since she wanted to know her identity and the existence of the world for her to attain the real meaning of life that had perplexed her.

Philosophy and mysteries of life

With great efforts to grasp philosophy, Sophie Amundsen noted that her friend Hilde was also learning philosophy as she found many postcards addressed to her. At her younger age, philosophy amazed and confused her to the extent that she devoted a great deal of time contemplating the mysteries of life. Sophie Amundsen devoted her time to learning philosophy as Alberto Knox convinced her that philosophy is critical in unraveling the mysteries of life. Since Sophie Amundsen was very young and receptive to philosophical knowledge, she learned a lot of philosophical concepts and theories that try to explain the identity and existence of humanity.

Sophie Amundsen strived to attain her identity and existence of the universe by studying philosophy. She learned about Jesus as a deity, God with supreme cognitive powers, the world of spirits, Marxism, Darwinism, Freudian development, and existence. Sophie Amundsen studied all these philosophical knowledge to have an expansive and in-depth view of life to establish her identity in the universe. Basing on her efforts, it is quite evident that she was thirsting to define her identity and existence of the world because she eventually applied philosophical knowledge in manipulating the world as a spirit being.

Human nature

According to my thoughts, human beings can easily solve the problem of identity if they understand their nature and the existence of the universe. Concerning human nature, many theories and myths explain the origin of humanity and their destiny. What has perplexed humanity for long is the mystery of life that seems to have a complex origin and unknown fate. If I can establish the origin of my life and the fate of my life, then, it is possible to define my identity in the universe. Since no theory and myths satisfactorily explain the origin of humanity and the universe, people remain confused about how they can define their nature.

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The fact that there is expansive knowledge in the world attests that human beings are still striving to define their nature because human identity comes from the perception and understanding of human nature and existence. For me to solve the problem of identity, I must consult and consider philosophies of great thinkers who sought to identify their nature and existence of the universe so that I can have a glimpse of what constitutes my identity.

Existence of the universe

My identity lies in my ability to understand human nature and the existence of the universe in terms of origin and fate. To define my identity, I need to comprehend my uniqueness relative to other bodies in nature that I interact with constantly as well as mysterious bodies that exist in the universe and the realm of spirituality. Knowing my uniqueness in nature, origin, and fate will enable me to define my identity amidst the complexity of other creatures that are in the universe.

Since I was born, I have been busy accumulating knowledge and skills from diverse realms of life that give me the wisdom to define my origin, identity, and destiny in life. My ability to think and perceive nature defines me as a rational being with the capacity to manipulate the universe for my benefit.

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