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The Re-Enchantment of the WorldSecular Magic in a Rational Age$
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Joshua Landy and Michael Saler

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752992

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752992.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 18 February 2020

“Broken Knowledge”

“Broken Knowledge”

(p.15) Chapter 1 “Broken Knowledge”
The Re-Enchantment of the World

Andrea Nightingale

Stanford University Press

This chapter analyzes the problem of being “at-home” and, at the same time, “homeless” in the natural world. It conceives the term ecology in terms of a discipline that offers an account of the household where people dwell. When Western intellectuals speak of the disenchantment of the world, what they have in mind, as often as not, is a gradual decline in mystery. This chapter argues that modern science is just as likely to restore mystery as to extirpate it from the natural world. Science becomes the single most powerful generator of the marvelous. It is not just because of the technological marvels it produces, but also and especially because of the limits it ends up setting to its own powers.

Keywords:   ecology, human dwelling, modern science, mystery

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