Philosophy begins with wonder, according to Plato and Aristotle. Yet Plato and Aristotle did not expand a great deal on what precisely wonder is. Does this fact alone not raise curiosity in us as to why this passion or concept is important? What is wonder's role in science, philosophy, or theology except to end thinking or theorizing as soon as one begins? The primary purpose of this book is to show how seventeenth- and eighteenth-century developments in natural theology, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of science resulted in a complex history of the passion of wonder-a history in which the elements of continuation, criticism, and reformulation are equally present. Philosophy Begins in Wonder provides the first historical overview of wonder and changes the way we see early modern Europe. It is intended for readers who are curious-who wonder-about how modern philosophy and science were born. The book is for scholars and educated readers alike.
Michael Funk Deckard is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina. He has taught History of Ideas, Philosophy, and Ethics at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), North Central College (Naperville, Illinois) and Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois). He also has published articles and reviews in journals such as The Heythrop Journal; British Journal of Aesthetics; Eighteenth-Century Thought; Bijdragen: International Journal in Philosophy and Theology; Philosophy in Review; Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, and Verbum: Analecta Neolatina. Dr Peter Losonczi is a Research Associate at the Centre for Metaphysics and Philosophy of Culture Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven. He is also Director of the International Research Network on Religion and Democracy.
List of Figures Preface / Michael Funk Deckard Abbreviations Introduction / Peter Losonczi and Michael Funk Deckard Part One: Historical, Scientific, and Religious Contexts 1. Wonder and Wondering in the Renaissance / Elisabeth Blum and Paul Richard Blum 2. Wonder, Magic, and Natural Philosophy: The Disenchantment Thesis Revisited / Koen Vermeir 3. Religious Awe at the Origin of Eighteenth-Century Physico-Theology / Miklos Vassanyi Part Two: Wonder in Seventeenth-Century Europe 4. Descartes on the Excellent Use of Admiration / Dorottya Kaposi 5. Admiration, Fear, and Infinity in Pascal's Thinking / Tamas Pavlovits 6. On Thomas Hobbes's Concept of Wonder / Jianhong Chen 7.