The Phenomenology of the Experience of Enchantment

Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 65)


While meditating upon the natures of aisthetikos and enchantment, I remembered a past lived-event that I consider to reveal the relationship between aesthetics and the experience of enchantment. Through a phenomenological reflection on this personal account, the primary goal of this paper is to ascertain the essential characteristics (eidetic principles) of enchantment as an experiential domain. Its treatment in anthropological accounts, broadly speaking, and in art forms suggests the possibility that “enchantment” inappropriately designates or characterizes my personal testimony. But, there is no other more appropriate description for the experienced aesthetic value-complex that is to be described. A provisional bracketing of the treatment of enchantment both in art forms and in empirical/historical exemplification is necessary so that the structure of enchantment as a lived process can be uncovered. Someone may have the experience while engaging a work of art regardless of whether the work portrays enchantment in its content. Conversely, a work of art may portray enchantment without an accompanying manifestation of an enchantment in experience. Enchantment is not merely a category employed in the thematic contents of the various fine arts, even though the generally fantastic and hyperbolic treatments in literature, for example, may suggest such.


Cognitive Style Aesthetic Experience Fairy Tale Symbolic Meaning Symbolic Significance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aristotle, Introduction to Aristotle, ed. R. McKeon (New York: Random House, Inc., 1947). Augustine, Confessions, trans. F. J. Sheed ( Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1993 ).Google Scholar
  2. Bettelheim, Bruno, The Uses of Enchantment (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977). Cervantes, The History of Don Quixote (New York: The Hogarth Press, Inc., 1900 ). Heidegger, Martin, Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson ( Evanston: Harper and Row, 1962 ).Google Scholar
  3. Husserl, Edmund, Experience and Judgment, trans. James S. Churchill and Karl Ameriks ( Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  4. Husserl, Edmund, Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenolgical Philosophy, trans. F. Kersten ( The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1983 ).Google Scholar
  5. James, William, The Principles of Psychology Volume Two (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1980 ).Google Scholar
  6. Lankton, Stephen R. and Carol H. Lankton, Enchantment and Intervention in Family Therapy ( New York: Brunner/Mazel Publishers, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  7. Lattimore, Richard, The Odyssey of Homer (London: Harper Colophon Books, 1967 ). Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Colin Smith ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  8. Noyes, Alfred, Orchard’s Bay, ( New York: Sheed and Ward, 1939 ).Google Scholar
  9. Schutz, Alfred, The Phenomenology of the Social World, trans. G. Walsh and F. Lehnart ( Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  10. Schutz, Alfred, and Luckmann, Thomas, The Structures of the Life-World ( Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  11. Zeig, J. K. (ed.), Teaching Seminar with Milton H. Erikson, M. D. (New York: Brunner/Mazel, Publishers, 1980 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Morgan State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations