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Book: Enchantment

Chapter: The Disenchantment Thesis and Pre-Modern Enchantment

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43965


In this chapter, I provide an overview of the disenchantment thesis. Popularized by Max Weber a century ago and developed more recently by Marcel Gauchet, Charles Taylor, and others, the disenchantment thesis argues that specific modern developments have caused irreversible intellectual and affective changes such that modern individuals prefer scientific explanations over magical ones and are increasingly immune to feelings of fullness, mystery, and awe. Using the disenchantment thesis as a reference point, I also present a brief account of the kinds of pre-modern enchantments that are presumed to have existed prior to the alleged disenchantment of the world.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ian Alexander Cuthbertson ( - iancuthbertson) 'Dawson College'