Philosophy and Wonder

"I see, my dear Theaetetus, that Theodorus had a true insight into your nature when he said that you were a philosopher, for wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder."

Plato, Theaetetus 155d

"… it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize. … [T]hey were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end.”

Aristotle, Metaphysics 982b

“… [Aristotle] says in the De animalibus that, although what we know of the higher substances is very little, yet that little is loved and desired more than all the knowledge that we have about less noble substances. He also says in the De caelo et mundo that when questions about the heavenly bodies can be given even a modest and merely plausible solution, he who hears this experiences intense joy. From all these considerations it is clear that even the most imperfect knowledge about the most noble realities brings the greatest perfection to the soul.”

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles 1.5.5