• Theologian
    160
    There didn't seem to be a thread on point, and I figured I couldn't be the only one interested in this.

    I myself am currently looking for a book suitable for an intelligent twelve year old. I'm open to suggestions.
  • Echarmion
    651
    I very much enjoyed "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder. accessible and clever.
  • StreetlightX
    4.1k
    The Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments is a fun one.

    Sophie's World is pretty cool too.
  • I like sushi
    1.3k
    Alice in Wonderland

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    The Little Prince

    The Republic (mid/late teens)
  • Shamshir
    756
    Captain Nemo, Panchatantra and A Thousand And One Nights.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    I'm a big fan of Donald Palmer's books, including Looking at Philosophy, which is suitable for any interested 12 year-olds. At the moment it's available for free online as a pdf. Otherwise you can pick up a cheap used copy (you might have to look for an older edition).
  • tim wood
    3k
    It's all in the language and the concreteness of the examples. Philosophy most broadly is thinking about thinking. First step is to think, to learn to think. (And If anyone knows any place this was taught, please describe it here.) And as well that there's good evidence that children's brains may not be up to aspects of the various tasks that thinking about thinking may require.

    I do not have it in hand, but I am pretty sure that Aristotle remarked that philosophy isn't for children.
  • Shamshir
    756
    I do not have it in hand, but I am pretty sure that Aristotle remarked that philosophy isn't for children.tim wood
    How childish of Aristotle.
  • tim wood
    3k
    Of what value are these remarks of yours? What do they contribute?
  • Shamshir
    756
    A value of five. They contribute one thumbs up. :up:
  • Theologian
    160

    Smiles and sunshine, tim. Only smiles and sunshine.

    :smile:
  • Theologian
    160

    Well, thanks to you we're up to 10 now!

    I'd throw in another five, but... do we dare??? :gasp:
  • Shamshir
    756
    Daring is caring and caring is sharing.

    Dare on, my friend.

    I'd also like to add the Popol Vuh to the list. :)
  • Theologian
    160

    I'm not sure if it's a little too similar to the last book I gave her, which was the Arthur Waley translation of Monkey.
  • Theologian
    160
    Something just occurred to me: The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy.

    It's a loose interpretation of what I had in mind when I OP-ed, but not entirely off point.

    I wonder if she's read it?
  • Theologian
    160

    One thing I can't quite tell about your suggestion from what I see on Amazon: does it look like a textbook? Is it built like a textbook - I mean physically?

    I worry... if it looks like a textbook and smells like a textbook, she'll feel about it like it's a textbook. And that's probably not the best way to encourage a 12 year old.
  • Shamshir
    756
    I definitely don't think it's too similar, but it's your call.

    The HGG is definitely an apt suggestion; try probing with references to see if she's read it.

    I'd be inclined to recommend Marcus Aurelius if you can find a proper translation.
  • Pelle
    32

    The Never Ending Story and Momo and the Time Thieves are great books and I found them very thought-provoking when I was younger. Metaphysical problems like "what is time" are heavily prevalent.
  • Theologian
    160

    Just wanted to thank everyone who's contributed suggestions thus far. Hopefully this thread will grow even more over time! :smile:
  • I like sushi
    1.3k
    The way I see it there are distinctions between what people mean by ‘philosophy’ and being a ‘philosopher’.

    A philosopher can be someone who has studied the works of others and they need not really have their own ideas - they are essentially scholars if philosophy who regurgitate the words and thoughts of others in various ways (some more uniquely than others).

    For children I would say it is simply better to encourage natural creativity and exploration. Equip them as we can to be bold and to deal with mistakes. The rest is out of our hands. One large distinction is that the younger we are the more shortsighted we are; being unable/unwilling to plan beyond the next few days or weeks. Teenagers goals are not really thought out beyond the next 12 months at a stretch. Philosophy, appreciation of change, is limited in youth and so studying philosophy intensely too young is less than useful imo.

    Many young boys are obsessed with war and such. If anything The Art of War would be engaging for them to some degree - especially given the access to large scale gaming online today (the total war series has a lot to offer in that respect as well as feeding the gamers with a greater urge to learn about the historical contexts).

    I’d never read a single book of ‘philosophy’ until around 7 years ago. I’m glad I didn’t or I’d likely not have developed my own views of certain thoughts about existence, life, politics etc.,. Fiction, art, fantasy and a passion for the sciences were my main concerns growing up. I did glance at The Republic when I was about 18 yrs old, but never took it seriously and found it quite dull at the time - superstring theory was far more interesting!

    In regards to fiction I found Ian Bainks to be someone I kept returning to over and over.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    It's all in the language and the concreteness of the examples. Philosophy most broadly is thinking about thinking. First step is to think, to learn to think. (And If anyone knows any place this was taught, please describe it here.) And as well that there's good evidence that children's brains may not be up to aspects of the various tasks that thinking about thinking may require.

    I do not have it in hand, but I am pretty sure that Aristotle remarked that philosophy isn't for children.
    tim wood

    I first became seriously interested in philosophy when I was 11 years old. Diving into the field at that age had many benefits for me, both at the time and later on in my life.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    A philosopher can be someone who has studied the works of others and they need not really have their own ideas - they are essentially scholars if philosophy who regurgitate the words and thoughts of others in various ways (some more uniquely than others).I like sushi

    I don't believe that really describes anyone.
  • I like sushi
    1.3k
    It is one of two dictionary definitions. A scholar of philosophy isn’t meant to come up with their own ideas. A true scholar merely reports facts.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    The Consolations of Philosophy, by Alain de Botton.

    Not to be confused with The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, written about 1500 years earlier.
  • Kippo
    131
    I seem to remember a poster who looked like that "Bertrand Russell" bird would say Anne of Green Gables!

    BTW I like your sequence of favourite philosophers Theologian. They resonate well.
  • Theologian
    160

    Your list, however, has a more transcendental appeal that mine can never compete with! :smile:
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k


    Okay, but there isn't anyone who doesn't come up with their own ideas. Even simply by focusing on someone else's work, you'll come up with unique interpretational ideas, for example.
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