The quest for knowledge has played a major part in the intellectual development and evolution of individuals, societies, and cultures. Socrates viewed knowledge as a virtue, a path to perfection. Prometheus was punished for bringing knowledge to the world, and Faust for wanting it too much.
Yet knowledge has continued to feature as a defining commodity and a sign of progress. Aristotle, reflecting the height of Greek philosophy, observed that "all men by nature desire knowledge," while Socrates proclaimed that the only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.