A philosophical exploration of wonder: its history, its present condition and its future potential
Genevieve Lloyd illuminates and challenges some perplexing aspects of contemporary attitudes to wonder. Central to her argument is the claim that wonder has come to be largely eclipsed by the allure of the notion of the Sublime - a concept closely associated with Romantic Idealism.
In her path to reclaim wonder she moves between philosophical and literary sources, drawing especially on Flaubert's responses to Romanticism and his related treatment of stupidity, which have influenced the thought of Jean-Paul Sartre, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida. She also reaches into contemporary debates on refugees, secularisation and climate change.
Lloyd offers us a renewed sense of wonder - reconnected with its philosophical history - and one that plays a significant role in contemporary social critique.
About the Author
Genevieve Lloyd is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales, Australia. In 1987 she was appointed to the chair of philosophy at UNSW, making her the first female professor of philosophy appointed in Australia. She is the author of Providence Lost (Harvard University Press, 2008), Feminism and the History of Philosophy (OUP, 2002), Spinoza: Critical Assessments (Routledge, 2001), Collective Imaginings: Spinoza, Past and Present (Routledge, 1999), The Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Spinoza and the Ethics (Routledge, 1994), Part of Nature: Self-Knowledge in Spinoza's Ethics (Cornell University Press, 1994), Being in Time: Selves and Narrators in Philosophy and Literature (Routledge, 1993) and The Man of Reason: Male and Female in Western Philosophy (Routledge 1st edition 1986, 2nd edition 1993).
Table of Contents
1. Pause for Thought: Plato and Aristotle on Wonder
2. Passion or Distraction? Descartes and Spinoza on Wonder
3. Burke and Kant on the Sublime
4. Romanticism and the Allure of the Sublime
5. Wonder and Stupidity: Flaubert on Romanticism
6. Reconnecting with Socratic Wonder: Heidegger and Arendt
7. Derrida on Aporia, Time and Mortality
8. Political Wonder and Social Critique
9. Wonder and Transcendence
Conclusion: The Future of Wonder