Wonder and Ridicule

 by on September 25, 2013
Sep 252013
 

Thales, the first natural philosopher in the Greek tradition. One day he fell into a well while observing the stars and gazing upwards. Plato says he was eager to know the things in the sky, but what was behind him and at his feet escaped his notice. For this reason he was mocked by a Thracian servant girl. And thus began Western philosophy. A scientist-philosopher known for great practical achievements could not resist the temptation of wonder. So when Socrates says that philosophy begins in wonder, remember that it also may end up in ridicule.