*from “The Pleasures of Hope”, by Thomas Campbell (1777–1844).
From: Landmarks (2015), by Robert Macfarlane:
“In 1917 the sociologist and philosopher Max Weber named ‘disenchantment’ (Entzauberung) as the distinctive injury of modernity. He defined disenchantment as ‘the knowledge or belief that…there are no mysterious incalculable forces that come into play, but rather that one can, in principle, master all things by calculation’. For Weber, disenchantment was a function of the rise of rationalism, which demanded the extirpation of dissenting knowledge-kinds in favour of a single master-principle. It found its expressions not just in human behaviour and policy – including the general impulse to control nature – but also in emotional response. Weber noted that widespread reduction of ‘wonder’ (for him the hallmark of enchantment, and in which state we are comfortable with not-knowing) and the corresponding expansion of ‘will’ (for him the hallmark of disenchantment, and in which state we are avid for authority). In modernity, mastery usurped mystery.
Our language for nature is now such that the things around us do not talk back to us in ways that they might…”