The Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and

The Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse, 1900-1939 The Problem of Disenchantment offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the intellectual history of science, religion, and the occult in the early th century By developing a new approach to Max Weber s famous idea of a disenchantment of the world , and drawing on an impressively diverse set of sources, Egil Asprem opens up a broad field of inquiry that connects the histories of science, religion, philosophy, and Western esotericismParapsychology, occultism, and the modern natural sciences are usually viewed as distinct cultural phenomena with highly variable intellectual credentials In spite of this view, Asprem demonstrates that all three have met with similar intellectual problems related to the intelligibility of nature, the relation of facts to values, and the dynamic of immanence and transcendence, and solved them in comparable terms This is an important application of discourse analysis to the idea of science as a profession, showing how the specter of a mechanical universe disenchantment engendered a variety of responses over the period 1900 1939 Within this problem history lie discussions of the sociology of science, esotericism, and parapsychology, and this book should be required reading for anything further that people may wish to publish about those topics over this period The power of the interdisciplinar This is an important application of discourse analysis to the idea of science as a profession, showing how the specter of a mechanical universe disenchantment engendered a variety of responses over the period 1900 1939 Within this problem history lie discussions of the sociology of science, esotericism, and parapsychology, and this book should be required reading for anything further that people may wish to publish about those topics over this period The power of the interdisciplinary connections being made is particularly notable.The author favors science as a method for talking about the humanities, but the book is extremely scholarly and unbiased, and should be good food for thought for people of any persuasion interested in how disenchantment has been handled as a problem This is really a top rate book and will probably become, alongside Joscelyn Godwin s Theosophical Enlightenment, a key to understanding this aspect of the 19th century, just as Hans Blumenberg and Charles Taylor are key to understanding early modernity

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