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And learning and wondering are pleasant for the most part; wonder, because in it is contained, manifested, the desire of learning; and therefore the wonderful is an object of desire (every desire is directed to some pleasure, § 5) and consequently pleasant; and learning includes, implies, a settlement into our normal condition’. φύσις here stands for the true and highest nature, the normal perfect state, of anything, see Grant, on Eth. N. II 1. 3, Polit. I 2, 1252 b 32, οἷον γὰρ ἕκαστόν ἐστι τῆς γενέσεως τελεσθείσης φαμὲν τὴν φύσιν εἶναι ἑκαστοῦ, ὥσπερ ἀνθρώπου, ἵππου, οἰκίας. This highest condition of our nature is θεωρία, philosophy, the contemplation of truth, which is also the highest form or ideal of happiness, Eth. Nic. X 8 and 9. A state of knowledge, to which learning leads, may therefore be regarded as a settled or complete state, and to be the ‘normal condition of the intellect’, the noblest part of the entire ψυχή. A settlement into this condition must therefore by the definition, § 1, be a form of pleasure.

On wonder, or curiosity, as the origin of learning, of all speculative inquiry or philosophy, compare Plato, Theaet. 155 D, to whom the observation is due, μάλα γὰρ φιλοσόφου τοῦτο τὸ πάθος, τὸ θαυμάζειν: οὐ γὰρ ἄλλη ἀρχὴ φιλοσοφίας αὕτη, κ.τ.λ. From Plato it is borrowed by Aristotle, Metaph. A 2, 982 b 12, διὰ γὰρ τὸ θαυμάζειν οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ νῦν καὶ τὸ πρῶτον ἤρξαντο φιλοσοφεῖν... δὲ ἀπορῶν καὶ θαυμάζων οἴεται ἀγνοεῖν, Poet. IV 4, αἴτιον δὲ καὶ τούτου, ὅτι μανθάνειν οὐ μόνον τοῖς φιλοσόφοις ἥδιστον ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ὁμοίως: ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ βραχὺ κοινωνοῦσιν αὐτῶν, and Coleridge again, Aids to Reflection, on spiritual religion, Aph. IX., has thus improved upon Plato and Aristotle, ‘In wonder all philosophy began: in wonder it ends: and admiration fills up the interspace.’ See also Sir W. Hamilton's Lect. on Metaph. Lect. IV. Vol. I. p. 77 seq. Ar. Met. init. πάντες ἄνθρωποι τοῦ εἰδέναι ὀρέγονται φύσει, κ.τ.λ. Here (in the Met.) as elsewhere, the pleasure of learning or knowledge is assumed. The reverse of this is the cynical Horatian Nil admirari, &c., followed by Pope, “‘Not to admire is all the art I know, To make men happy and to keep them so.’ Plain truth, dear Murray, needs no flowers of speech, So take it in the very words of Creech.” [Epist. I, 6. 1.]

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