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The Logic of Disenchantment

By Rhyd Wildermuth

[Snip} I’ve been discussing the disenchantment of the world in these posts but have thus far only touched upon something integral to the concept, There’s a the looming spectre haunting the process of disenchantment. Very few writers confront it, and I’ll be honest—I’m a bit reluctant myself. This won’t make me popular.

Something happened in the 1700’s, some great disconnection between us humans and the earth around us. Somehow, our relationship to place, to nature, and to each other shifted. The writer who first popularized the idea of disenchantment, Max Weber, borrowed it to describe the shift in the way we began approaching the world. From his lecture entitled “Science as Vocation”:

The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world.’ Precisely the ultimate and most sublime values have retreated from public life either into the transcendental realm of mystic life or into the brotherliness of direct and personal human relations.

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