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The Iranian MetaphysicalsExplorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny$
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Alireza Doostdar

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163772

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163772.001.0001

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Metaphysical Pleasures

Metaphysical Pleasures

(p.78) 8 Metaphysical Pleasures
The Iranian Metaphysicals

Alireza Doostdar

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines occult practices in terms of the metaphysical pleasures they provide by focusing on the domain of leisure and play. It first considers metaphysical pleasure arising from wonder and astonishment, with particular emphasis on how these emotions, typically known through the concepts of ʻajab and taʻajjub, have been understood in the premodern Islamic tradition. It then discusses the pleasures of contemporary aesthetic and literary consumption and how these pleasures are enabled by a trend toward subordinating the metaphysical to a set of secular sensibilities governing the appreciation of cinema, graphic arts, literature, and fashion. It shows that that each of these metaphysical pleasures provides rationalized pathways for approaching the metaphysical that do not require one to answer questions of truth or falsity.

Keywords:   occult, metaphysical pleasures, leisure, play, wonder, astonishment, ʻajab, taʻajjub, truth, falsity

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