Dutch / The Netherlands

Grote gedachten. Verhalen over filosofie
(Great thoughts. Stories about philosophy)

Molen, Janny van der (text)
Amsterdam: Ploegsma, [2014]. – 233 p.
ISBN 978-90-216-7225-0


The six chapters of this book follow Mr. Swart as he introduces his class to philosophy. Th is is not a dry lesson in intellectual history, but a fluently written story about a teacher who tries to inspire his pupils to engage with the ideas of important thinkers, including Socrates, Plato, Nietzsche, and Hannah Arendt. It extensively treats questions in the foundations of knowledge, democracy, and morality. This discussion runs parallel to a narrative in which some pupils are brought to life as very credible characters, with all their pubescent traits and interpersonal relationships. The philosophical ideas discussed surface again in the pupils’ own stories. They experience situations in which they have to make choices, choices that the historical philosophers also reflected upon.

Janny van der Molen inspires her readers to think for themselves and to  understand that philosophy is a fascinating and perennial pursuit, and that you do
indeed learn more about yourself by engaging in it. (Age: 12+)