Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder
—Plato Theaetetus, 155
What is art for? “L’art pour l’art” wrote Théophile Gautier as a slogan in 1835. And today’s bohemians continue to repeat the creed “Art for art’s sake.” It’s a catchy slogan, still what most people unreflectively tell themselves when confronted with the question: “What is the purpose of art?”
Socrates invented the art of cultivating a beautiful soul, perhaps because he was been born with such a famously ugly face.