Keeping wonder secure and the people awake:on the nature of wonder and its importance for civilisation.

Baldwin, Christopher (2020) Keeping wonder secure and the people awake:on the nature of wonder and its importance for civilisation. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity St. David.

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Wonder is an emotion readily communicated to others by a generally understood expressive signature. In the form of a digital emoticon with its basic visual clues, the 'Wow’ moment, shown as a face with open mouth and raised eyebrows, offers a representation of an unmistakable feeling. Such an easily interpreted human phenomenon suggests that wonder has an important social function as well as being significant in the lives of individuals. This dissertation is an analysis of wonder, seeking to elucidate the process by which it is recognised and represented and acted upon. Above all the other emotions, wonder serves the purpose of linking initial inchoate feelings about external events to conscious rationality. This leads to concept formation as to what the wonder might be, providing the incentive to clarify its nature along with some sort of evaluation about its importance, whether for immediate survival or for long term management. Intentionality and its relevance for conscious awareness is investigated as a mechanism by which these processes are brought about in individual minds. Wonders may be on a grand scale or wonder may be found in tiny events such as flower petals opening. There is also the phenomenon of people in groups finding collective amazement at particular social situations and it is contended that this is a species of wonder, here termed ‘intellectual wonder'. Collective intentionality concerning such social situations which are evaluated as ‘extraordinary’ (and therefore intellectually wonderful) is then suggested as a means by which social institutions are developed to address any collectively perceived shortcomings. The motivation to consider shortcomings is conceived as deriving from the feelings accompanying representations of the social situation, conscious awareness of an ethical context, and radical amazement that social boundaries have been transgressed. Wonder therefore has a place in generating and maintaining a civilisation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Analytical philosophy taking inspiration from Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wonder,Intentionality, Consciousness, Emotion,
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Christopher Baldwin
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2021 09:46
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2021 11:37

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