# Sophie's Puzzle

My smart and beautiful daughter Sophie gave me this puzzle the other day... What do each of these letters and numbers stand for and why?

1. -4 + R = AOTC

2. -4 + PA = SR

3. 11 + P = OA

4. 17 + DOTM = CES

5. 18 + EDT = BOAPW

6. 18 + COPR = SA

7. 19 + POS = Z

8. 20 + TLP = AS

Okay, with a big nod to @Strawberry who found the first connection which set this train in motion, I believe all of the bullet points here each take the form of:

Century + Initials of famous philosophical work = Famed content of said work

The lines equate as follows:

1. -4 + R = AOTC

4th century BC (hence the minus sign) + Republic (Plato) = Allegory Of The Cave

2. -4 + PA = SR

4th century BC (hence the minus sign) + Prior Analytics (Aristotle) = Syllogistic Reasoning

3. 11 + P = OA

11th century (1077-78) + Proslogion (Saint Anselm of Canterbury) = Ontological Argument

4. 17 + DOTM = CES

17th century (1637) + Discourse On The Method (René Descartes) = Cogito Ergo Sum

5. 18 + EDT = BOAPW (found by @Strawberry)

18th century (1710) + Essaies De Théodicée (Gottfried Leibniz) = Best Of All Possible Worlds

6. 18 + COPR = SA

18th century (1781) + Critique Of Pure Reason (Immanuel Kant) = Synthetic Apriori

7. 19 + POS = Z

19th century (1807) + Phenomenology Of Spirit (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel) = Zeitgeist

8. 20 + TLP = AS

20th century (1921) + Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Ludwig Wittgenstein) = Atomic Sentence

Also, I have the feeling this is called 'Sophie's Puzzle' since:

PHILOSOPHY sounds a lot like her name! (Although the OP says in comments it is because the name 'Sophie' means 'wisdom'...)

• Almost, Number 2 is both wrong but very close, 6 is only wrong in the content but is almost right, 7 is only wrong in the content. Oct 30, 2020 at 14:21
• sbe 2 guvax ybtvp, sbe 6 lbh ner unys evtug, sbe 7 guvax tubfgf Oct 30, 2020 at 14:24
• @Strawberry Without your insight I would in no way have gone down this path! :)
– Stiv
Oct 30, 2020 at 14:32
• That insight was very impressive indeed I thought that it would be the hardest part of the puzzle to work out the formula. Oct 30, 2020 at 14:34
• Oh my bad congratulations!!! Oct 30, 2020 at 14:39

Just to observe that the phrase Best of All Possible Worlds occurs in Gottfried Leibniz's work of 1710 - Essais de Théodicée...

• Avpr bar pna lbh jbex bhg gur erfg? Oct 30, 2020 at 11:47
• Fgehttyvat jvgu gung :-( Oct 30, 2020 at 12:06