Quora Answer: What are the distinguishing characteristics of great philosophers?

Oct 18 2014

The defining characteristic of the philosophers of the Western tradition starting with Thales and the pre-Socratics is Wonder at Nature, and it is no accident that Physics we have today came out of that along with all the other sciences of nature. Socrates sought to change that and turn the interest of philosophy to study human beings, and his work was a major turning point in philosophy, and the legacy of that development was wonder at human nature. If we were to boil that down to a characteristic it would be the capacity for wonder at nature, including human nature.

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