How Wonder Courts Wisdom

Here is my project for Epistemology on wonder with Professor Yates.

ppt: Wander2Wonder

movie, presentation with voiceover (requires Quicktime): https://www.dropbox.com/s/h09m6or4xe8xpe4/Wander2Wonder.m4v?dl=0

Here is my Analysis of the project:

I first chose this project because Gallagher piqued my interest in wonder in his book The Philosophy of Knowledge in the first chapter “The Status of Knowing.” It is fitting that his book begins with wonder, since it is indeed inherent in philosophizing. I suppose I find this so interesting because I am a mother, and I have experienced that wonder through the eyes of my children who often prompt me to take a step back away from the familiar. Through them I have experienced this realization that common sense is not always the most intelligible explanation.

It is interesting that wonder causes us to philosophize because the most wondering of all creatures are children. In truth, we are born philosophizing because we are born wondering. As children, we see the world as full of mystery, and there’s something magical about our existence and the world around us. They have this thirst that cannot be sated, as they persist in an endless string of “why’s” in response to our explanations. Wondering is something that is specifically human, for God possesses all wisdom and cannot wonder, and angels have an infused intellect with sufficient knowledge for their missions. If wonder and philosophizing go hand in hand, then it must be part of our nature to philosophize. C.S. Lewis describes humans as amphibians because we are both body and spirit. It is our souls that long for wisdom that is beyond the sense experience. Indeed, sense experience even often points beyond itself. There are moments in life though which cause us to wonder again—whether by reading philosophy or poetry, viewing art or a beautiful sunset, or experiencing love or death of someone close. Pieper also delves into the importance for leisure, which makes room for this kind of philosophical inquiry. If we are always bogged down by work, and we have no time for active leisure, which is not wasted in frivolity, then we will be impoverishing our spirits, though our bodies might be stuffed with food or drink or other pleasures.

I am happy I chose this project because I got to read Pieper’s two essays: “Leisure: The Basis of Culture” and “The Philosophical Act.” I read these almost a decade ago, but I didn’t really take the time to ponder it. I was too busy in the world of work for college. This is why I think reading good books in our leisure is vital for a healthy spirit. I look forward to filling my summer reading list with more books that will promote this sense of wonder. It is when we wonder and philosophize that we feel most alive, and though we can’t remain fixed under the stars, it is necessary to look up every now and then. I also learned a great deal about the connection between philosophy and theology, and I have a greater appreciation for philosophy. Though this precise topic wasn’t immediately relevant to the topic of wonder, it was included in my reading. I learned that although we have the revealed Truth, and all we need for salvation, it is vital to continue to philosophize because it is a part of our created nature. We long to come to a deeper understanding of truth, and though it is not vital for our salvation or for our survival, it is vital to live as a human being was created to live.

School Musings


I just wanted to let anyone interested aware that I’ve posted my blog posts (serving as my final for my Church History course) can be viewed over at Historical Happenings. I highly suggest this course taught by Professor Voccola at Holy Apostles College for anyone interested (or uninterested for that matter, this will get you interested!) in Church History of which I was previously totally ignorant. I am still quite ignorant, but I at least have some solid footing concerning the history of the Church, which is incredibly important for a comprehensive understanding of our Catholic faith today.