Philosophy as Love of WisdomJune 26, 2021
The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322) says that the curiosity and wonder of the first philosophers or philosophers played a decisive role in the birth of philosophy in ancient Greece.
As a matter of fact, a story or anecdote about Thales, who is considered to be the first philosopher of Western philosophy, explains this situation well:
Thales’ interests, as a philosopher living on the shores of Western Anatolia and not suffering from financial difficulties, were different from the interests of the average person. Thales, who had his slave or servant do his daily work, was wondering “why something exists”. He even put aside the things of the earth and showed interest in “what goes on in the sky”.
Philosophy is Based on Curiosity
One day he went for a walk, accompanied by his Thracian servant; According to what is told, he could not see the hole in front of him while looking at the sky and was spread out on the ground. Thales was not only knocked down, he was the target of his slave’s mockery. His slave said, “This is how you philosophers are; You try to understand what’s going on in the skies while not seeing what’s under your feet!” he said.
Thales was stunned by the almost perfect order of the world, by the perfect succession of the seasons; He was almost horrified by the magnificent appearance and arrangement of the Sun, Moon and stars in the sky. He wondered about the source of this order, the relationship between the giant objects in the sky, where the existing ones came from and where they went.
It was his curiosity that created philosophy and science. Indeed, human is a being who is curious and, unlike other living species, marvels at almost everything that happens. One of those who best expressed this characteristic of man was the famous English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1678). As a matter of fact, Hobbes said, “It is peculiar to the nature of human beings to investigate the causes of the events he sees. Some search more, some less, but everyone is curious enough to look into the causes of their own good or bad destiny.” he was saying.
What we need most in order to be able to deal with philosophy, to become a philosopher, is this ability to wonder and wonder. This ability is actually present in all children, especially young children. We all have children like “Why is it wrong to lie?”, “Where do people go when they die?” We will be asked similar questions. Especially the children who develop and grow up a little more. “If I live in a free country, why can’t I do everything I want to do?” They cannot do without asking questions such as these that are not easy to answer. However, most of the children and young people lose their wonder and curiosity in their later years; They give in to the habit. Indeed, although philosophical questions concern all people very closely, not everyone can be a philosopher; Not everyone is interested in philosophical questions.
Accepting Life As It Is
People are so tightly attached to daily life for many different reasons that they suppress their sense of wonder at life and the world. For children, as for philosophers, the world and everything that happens on it is new; Therefore, everything becomes the subject of their curiosity and bewilderment. Yet most adults see the world as something normal. They take life as it is, which displays surprising appearances; they become a part of the crowd and live like everyone else and without questioning under the influence of habit.
Indeed, most of us at some point in our lives forget about philosophical questions. Another important reason for this is that we stop doubting and are content with dogmatic answers. Doubt arises as a tendency not to be content with the explanation offered, to think that existing things could be other than they are. It is an important factor that complements the sense of wonder and wonder. Doubt is one of the most fundamental forces or factors that activate philosophical inquiry.
A skeptic is a person who thinks that reality may not be what it seems, that there may be different reasons behind the appearance, and therefore can go beyond perceptual appearances. However, living in doubt and questioning is not always easy for everyone. That’s why the vast majority of people choose a comfortable life over doubt as one of the two alternatives open to them.
People who run away from the risk of doubt and questioning, which can cause anxiety from time to time, often rely on habits. Those who act under the influence of their habits or live without doubt often forget their individuality or individual identity and become attached to their collective identity; they lead an ordinary life, doing as everyone else does, living as they live, stuck in the grip of dogmatic patterns.
Plato’s Parable of the Cave
One of the philosophers who best describes this situation is the ancient Greek philosopher Plato with his famous “Cave Analogy”. In this analogy, Plato asks us to think of some people living in an underground cave. These people had their hands and feet at the bottom of the great underground cavern, where not the slightest light penetrated.