Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe

Kobo ebook | June 19, 2012

byMary-Jane Rubenstein

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Strange Wonder confronts Western philosophy's ambivalent relationship to the Platonic "wonder" that reveals the strangeness of the everyday. On the one hand, this wonder is said to be the origin of all philosophy. On the other hand, it is associated with a kind of ignorance that ought to be extinguished as swiftly as possible. By endeavoring to resolve wonder's indeterminacy into certainty and calculability, philosophy paradoxically secures itself at the expense of its own condition of possibility.

Strange Wonder locates a reopening of wonder's primordial uncertainty in the work of Martin Heidegger, for whom wonder is first experienced as the shock at the groundlessness of things and then as an astonishment that things nevertheless are. Mary-Jane Rubenstein traces this double movement through the thought of Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Jacques Derrida, ultimately thematizing wonder as the awesome, awful opening that exposes thinking to devastation as well as transformation. Rubenstein's study shows that wonder reveals the extraordinary in and through the ordinary, and is therefore crucial to the task of reimagining political, religious, and ethical terrain.

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Strange Wonder confronts Western philosophy's ambivalent relationship to the Platonic "wonder" that reveals the strangeness of the everyday. On the one hand, this wonder is said to be the origin of all philosophy. On the other hand, it is associated with a kind of ignorance that ought to be extinguished as swiftly as possible. By ende...

Mary-Jane Rubenstein is assistant professor of religion at Wesleyan University, where she teaches in the fields of philosophy of religion, modern Christian thought, and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies.

other books by Mary-Jane Rubenstein

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:June 19, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231518595

ISBN - 13:9780231518598

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Wonder and the Births of Philosophy
1. Repetition: Martin Heidegger
2. Openness: Emmanuel Levinas
3. Relation: Jean-Luc Nancy
4. Decision: Jacques Derrida
Postlude: Possibility
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

a fun read.