Published Volume XXXI, Nos. 1 and 2, 2018

The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the Western Tradition, by James Matthew Wilson. Washington, D. C., Catholic University of America Press, 2017. 444 pp. $29.95.

There is a modern tendency to reduce wonder to curiosity about how things work. Wonder becomes a state of ignorance, one that can be remedied by inquiry. Francis Bacon, for instance, called wonder “broken knowledge.” What gets lost in this reduction, though, is a deeper sense of wonder at the mystery of being, wonder at the sheer thereness of it all, at there being something rather than nothing. Martin Heidegger, of course, sought to reawaken us to this mystery, but he also claimed that the reduction of wonder to curiosity had a much older lineage than Bacon. For Heidegger, this reduction—and the attendant “forgetfulness of being”—is the faulty foundation for the whole tradition of Western metaphysics…

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