Who are you?

Where does the world come from?”

“The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder. Babies have this faculty. After a few short months in the womb, they slip out into a brand new reality. But as they grow up, this faculty of wonder seems to diminish.

If a new born baby could talk, it would probably say something about what an extraordinary world it had come into. We see how it looks around and reaches out in curiosity to everything it sees.

But long before the child learns to talk properly – and long before it learns to think philosophically – the world will have become a habit.

It seems as if in the process of growing up, we lose something central – something philosophers try to restore. For somewhere inside ourselves, something tells us that life is a huge mystery.

To children, the world and everything in it is new, something that gives rise to this astonishment. It is not like that for adults. Most adults accept the world as a matter of course. The world itself becomes a habit in no time at all.

A philosopher never gets quite used to the world. To him or her, the world continues to seem a bit unreasonable – bewildering, even enigmatic.

So now you must choose. Are you a child who has not yet become world-weary? Or are you a philosopher who will vow to never become so? If you just shake your head, not recognizing yourself as either, then you have gotten to used to the world that it no longer astonishes you. You are on thin ice.”

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