Wonder has been claimed as the beginning of philosophy by both Plato and Aristotle. Although an apparently similar claim, the essays in this collection represent a closer inspection of the difference in both location and content that define these two eminent thinkers’ kinds of wonder. While Aristotle’s understanding was outward-looking, directed to natural phenomena, and positioned at the beginning of inquiry with the assumption that explanation should purge it, Plato’s before him was inward-looking, toward conceptual phenomena, and positioned not only at the beginning of inquiry but also as its pursued end. Such different understandings are ones that have continued to be elaborated and developed throughout the history of philosophical conversation and so on to affect our feelings, understanding of and reactions to wonder.
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Sophia Vasalou completed a PhD in Islamic theology at the University of Cambridge in 2006. She has since been a research fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and taught at the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin.
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