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Fascination: An Exploration of Consciousness as a Metaphysical Basis for Enchantment

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Max Weber's famous phrase the 'the disenchantment of the world' has been a catalyst for scholars from a wide array of disciplines to consider what humankind might have lost as modernity's rationality and intellectualism extinguished any widespread belief in magic, spirits, and gods. A review of these works shows that, despite Weber's pessimism, there is ample evidence of continued forms of enchantment in modernity as well as many viable strategies for reenchantment. However, while Weber's statements seemed to be centred on enchantments deriving from belief in metaphysical worlds and beings, the forms of enchantment found to be compatible with modernity are based in wonder. This paper asks if a metaphysicsbased form of enchantment can be compatible with modernity. I then argue that phenomenal consciousness is a modern mystery that can serve as the metaphysical foundation for a new form of enchantment that I call fascination.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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