A father, living far away from his family because of his work, decides to write some letters to his daughter Sofia. His letters are animated by the desire to support her growth and to teach her important moral values.Inspired by Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, he puts together lessons of philosophy, ethical teachings and his personal considerations, all of which are useful for reflecting on how to make our lives happier.
In Letters to Sofia about Happiness, the author explains, with simple language and a practical approach, the thoughts of these leading philosophers of Athens with the intention of demonstrating the accessibility of their theories.The teachings of these three great fathers of Western philosophy, together with pearls of wisdom borrowed from other important thinkers, become a precious guide to understand how to develop an authentic life.A challenge to the readers? Maybe. Perhaps these letters will appear bizarre in the present day. And if it were not so bizarre? Discovering (or rediscovering) these great classics could be a very wise choice.
From the Preface by Antonella Di Maio
Letters to Sofia about Happiness is a tale, founded on didactic and epistolary letters, characterised by its narrative simplicity. It has an agile and linear text structure and is richly imbued with life lessons.At its base is the noble idea of a father who dusts off some of the finest pages of classical thought to help his daughter grow up with moral values. Writing to Sofia, the author traces and updates issues that immortalised Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.The three great fathers of Western philosophy are not just voices in a distant and apparently elusive past; they can become life companions whose teachings, once metabolised, are even valid today.By quoting dialogues, myths and theories, the author offers a short but concentrated philosophical journey with the theme of happiness as its common thread. In fact, the goal of these three philosophers is always to draw the ideal way to be wiser and happier.
The tale proposed by Raffaele Tamborrino, author and narrator, is not, however, a simple philosophical guide, nor is it an anthology of letters with sentimental characteristics. Rather, Letters to Sofia about Happiness is a delicate path that tries to maintain the right balance (a task that is not always easy) between the didactic nature of the content (after all, this book is talking about philosophy) and the author's aim to educate his daughter about values that underpin an authentic life.
The author does not just bring together the thoughts of three philosophers; sometimes he compares them, immerses them in modern reality, imagines their reactions and invents short dialogues between them and young Sofia.Meanwhile, he interweaves his theme with reflections and personal advice, strengthened here and there by pearls of wisdom borrowed from other important names such as Confucius, Cicero, Dante, Dostoyevsky, Gramsci, Mandela, Montaigne, Weber and others.
The simplicity (despite the depth of the issues) and choice of colloquial language make these pages accessible for everyone; indeed, achieving happiness is important to all of us and I like to think that everyone can know the way to be happy.For Sofia, and not only for her, these are very important life lessons that echo from afar and settle naturally on these pages, especially because the most authentic values, after all, never lose currency.