Has the modern world become disenchanted? Is there a way to find the magic again? In this week's show, we're discussing Walter Benjamin, the German-Jewish cultural critic from the early 20th century, who had fascinating things to say about this.
What Is It
Walter Benjamin was a German Jewish critical theorist, essayist, and philosopher who died tragically during the Second World War. His thoughts about modernity, history, art, disenchantment, and re-enchantment are still discussed today. So who was Benjamin, and what is his intellectual legacy? Why did he believe that Enlightenment values, such as rationality and modernization, brought about disenchantment in the world? Did he think there was a way to find re-enchantment without abandoning these values? And what would he have had to say about social media and its power to distract? The hosts have an enchanting time with Margaret Cohen from Stanford University, author of Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution.
In the age of capitalism and technology, has the world lost its magic?
Are we all just sleepwalking through life?
Can art wake us up and reinvent the world?