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The Enchantment of Modern Life: Attachments,…
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The Enchantment of Modern Life: Attachments, Crossings, and Ethics.

by Jane Bennett

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A 3.5 would be more accurate. I sympathize (sometimes empathize?) with the author's assertion that affect must be part of any "ethical" approach-- but I feel that she's reaching sometimes, in terms of granting a variety of troubling things the power to enchant. (I don't think she fully explores the implications, for example, of enchantment-- even within her particular definition of the word-- with robotics, commercialist constructions, and so forth.) An absolutely valuable conversation-starter, though-- and I always appreciate anyone who brings in Kakfa in a thoughtful way. ( )
  KatrinkaV | Aug 5, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0691088136, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:57 -0400)

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