The Enchantment of Modern Life

Author: Jane Bennett
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400884535
Format: PDF, Mobi
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It is a commonplace that the modern world cannot be experienced as enchanted--that the very concept of enchantment belongs to past ages of superstition. Jane Bennett challenges that view. She seeks to rehabilitate enchantment, showing not only how it is still possible to experience genuine wonder, but how such experience is crucial to motivating ethical behavior. A creative blend of political theory, philosophy, and literary studies, this book is a powerful and innovative contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary conversation about the deep connections between ethics, aesthetics, and politics. As Bennett describes it, enchantment is a sense of openness to the unusual, the captivating, and the disturbing in everyday life. She guides us through a wide and often surprising range of sources of enchantment, showing that we can still find enchantment in nature, for example, but also in such unexpected places as modern technology, advertising, and even bureaucracy. She then explains how everyday moments of enchantment can be cultivated to build an ethics of generosity, stimulating the emotional energy and honing the perceptual refinement necessary to follow moral codes. Throughout, Bennett draws on thinkers and writers as diverse as Kant, Schiller, Thoreau, Kafka, Marx, Weber, Adorno, and Deleuze. With its range and daring, The Enchantment of Modern Life is a provocative challenge to the centuries-old ''narrative of disenchantment,'' one that presents a new ''alter-tale'' that discloses our profound attachment to the human and nonhuman world.

The Enchantment of Modern Life

Author: Jane Bennett
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691088136
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
It is a commonplace that the modern world cannot be experienced as enchanted--that the very concept of enchantment belongs to past ages of superstition. Jane Bennett challenges that view. She seeks to rehabilitate enchantment, showing not only how it is still possible to experience genuine wonder, but how such experience is crucial to motivating ethical behavior. A creative blend of political theory, philosophy, and literary studies, this book is a powerful and innovative contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary conversation about the deep connections between ethics, aesthetics, and politics. As Bennett describes it, enchantment is a sense of openness to the unusual, the captivating, and the disturbing in everyday life. She guides us through a wide and often surprising range of sources of enchantment, showing that we can still find enchantment in nature, for example, but also in such unexpected places as modern technology, advertising, and even bureaucracy. She then explains how everyday moments of enchantment can be cultivated to build an ethics of generosity, stimulating the emotional energy and honing the perceptual refinement necessary to follow moral codes. Throughout, Bennett draws on thinkers and writers as diverse as Kant, Schiller, Thoreau, Kafka, Marx, Weber, Adorno, and Deleuze. With its range and daring, The Enchantment of Modern Life is a provocative challenge to the centuries-old ''narrative of disenchantment,'' one that presents a new ''alter-tale'' that discloses our profound attachment to the human and nonhuman world.

The Enchantment of Modern Life

Author: Jane Bennett
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780691088129
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
It is a commonplace that the modern world cannot be experienced as enchanted--that the very concept of enchantment belongs to past ages of superstition. Jane Bennett challenges that view. She seeks to rehabilitate enchantment, showing not only how it is still possible to experience genuine wonder, but how such experience is crucial to motivating ethical behavior. A creative blend of political theory, philosophy, and literary studies, this book is a powerful and innovative contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary conversation about the deep connections between ethics, aesthetics, and politics. As Bennett describes it, enchantment is a sense of openness to the unusual, the captivating, and the disturbing in everyday life. She guides us through a wide and often surprising range of sources of enchantment, showing that we can still find enchantment in nature, for example, but also in such unexpected places as modern technology, advertising, and even bureaucracy. She then explains how everyday moments of enchantment can be cultivated to build an ethics of generosity, stimulating the emotional energy and honing the perceptual refinement necessary to follow moral codes. Throughout, Bennett draws on thinkers and writers as diverse as Kant, Schiller, Thoreau, Kafka, Marx, Weber, Adorno, and Deleuze. With its range and daring, The Enchantment of Modern Life is a provocative challenge to the centuries-old ''narrative of disenchantment,'' one that presents a new ''alter-tale'' that discloses our profound attachment to the human and nonhuman world.

Thoreau s Nature

Author: Jane Bennett
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742521414
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Thoreau's Nature: Ethics, Politics, and the Wild explores how Thoreau crafted a life open to "the Wild," a term that marks the startling element of foreignness in every object of experience, however familiar. Thoreau's encounters with nature, Bennett argues, allowed him to resist his all-too-human tendency toward intellectual laziness, social conformity, and political complacency. Bennett pursues this theme by constructing a series of dialogues between Thoreau and our contemporaries: Foucault on identity and power, Haraway on the nature/culture of division, Hollywood celebrities on the Walden Woods Project, the National Endowment for the Humanities on politics and art, and Kafka on the question of political idealism. The pertinence to the late 20th century of Thoreau's pursuit of independent judgment, ecological foresight, and moral nobility becomes apparent through these engagements.

Vibrant Matter

Author: Jane Bennett
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822391627
Format: PDF
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In Vibrant Matter the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events. Bennett examines the political and theoretical implications of vital materialism through extended discussions of commonplace things and physical phenomena including stem cells, fish oils, electricity, metal, and trash. She reflects on the vital power of material formations such as landfills, which generate lively streams of chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can transform brain chemistry and mood. Along the way, she engages with the concepts and claims of Spinoza, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Darwin, Adorno, and Deleuze, disclosing a long history of thinking about vibrant matter in Western philosophy, including attempts by Kant, Bergson, and the embryologist Hans Driesch to name the “vital force” inherent in material forms. Bennett concludes by sketching the contours of a “green materialist” ecophilosophy.

Wonder the Rainbow and the Aesthetics of Rare Experiences

Author: Philip Fisher
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674955615
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Why pause and study this particular painting among so many others ranged on a gallery wall? Wonder, which Descartes called the first of the passions, is at play; it couples surprise with a wish to know more, the pleasurable promise that what is novel or rare may become familiar. This is a book about the aesthetics of wonder, about wonder as it figures in our relation to the visual world and to rare or new experiences. In three instructive instances--a pair of paintings by Cy Twombly, the famous problem of doubling the area of a square, and the history of attempts to explain rainbows--Philip Fisher examines the experience of wonder as it draws together pleasure, thinking, and the aesthetic features of thought. Through these examples he places wonder in relation to the ordinary and the everyday as well as to its opposite, fear. The remarkable story of how rainbows came to be explained, fraught with errors, half-knowledge, and incomplete understanding, suggests that certain knowledge cannot be what we expect when wonder engages us. Instead, Fisher argues, a detailed familiarity, similar to knowing our way around a building or a painting, is the ultimate meeting point for aesthetic and scientific encounters with novelty, rare experiences, and the genuinely new.

The Comfort of Strangers

Author: Gage McWeeny
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019979720X
Format: PDF
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This text argues for a new understanding of the relation between nineteenth-century realist literary form and the socially dense environments of modernity.

Rethinking Wilderness

Author: Mark Woods
Publisher: Broadview Press
ISBN: 1551113481
Format: PDF
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The concept and values of wilderness, along with the practice of wilderness preservation, have been under attack for the past several decades. In Rethinking Wilderness, Mark Woods responds to seven prominent anti-wilderness arguments. Woods offers a rethinking of the received concept of wilderness, developing a positive account of wilderness as a significant location for the other-than-human value-adding properties of naturalness, wildness, and freedom. Interdisciplinary in approach, the book combines environmental philosophy, environmental history, environmental social sciences, the science of ecology, and the science of conservation biology.

Why I Am Not a Secularist

Author: William E. Connolly
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816633326
Format: PDF
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Religion's influence in American politics is obvious in recent debates about school prayer, abortion, and homosexuality, as well as in the success of grassroots religious organizations in mobilizing voters. Many liberal secularists decry this trend, rejecting any interaction between politics and religion. But in Why I Am Not a Secularist, distinguished political theorist William E. Connolly argues that secularism, although admirable in its pursuit of freedom and diversity, too often undercuts these goals through its narrow and intolerant understandings of public reason. In response, he crafts a new model of public life that more accurately reflects the needs of contemporary politics.

The Reenchantment of the World

Author: Morris Berman
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801492259
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The Reenchantment of the World is a perceptive study of our scientific consciousness and a cogent and forceful challenge to its supremacy. Focusing on the rise of the mechanistic idea that we can know the natural world only by distancing ourselves from it, Berman shows how science acquired its controlling position in the consciousness of the West. He analyzes the holistic, animistic tradition—destroyed in the wake of Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—which viewed man as a participant in the cosmos, not as an isolated observer. Arguing that the holistic world view must be revived in some credible form before we destroy our society and our environment, he explores the possibilities for a consciousness appropriate to the modern era. Ecological rather than animistic, this new world view would be grounded in the real and intimate connection between man and nature.