“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
– Arthur C. Clarke
Magic, Science and Religion and the
Scope of Rationality
(Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures): Stanley J. Tambiah
I read this book a few years ago. I found it in the bargain bin at the Stand Bookstore in Manhattan. Bought it for $1…
A great reading experience. I recommend this book highly.
Professor Tambiah is one of the leading anthropologists of the day, particularly known for his penetrating and scholarly studies of Buddhism. In this accessible and illuminating book he deals with the classical opposition of magic with science and religion. He reviews the great debates in classical Judaism, early Greek science, Renaissance philosophy, the Protestant Reformation, and the scientific revolution, and then reconsiders the three major interpretive approaches to magic in anthropology: the intellectualist and evolutionary theories of Tylor and Frazer, Malinowski’s functionalism, and Lévy-Bruhl’s philosophical anthropology, which posited a distinction between mystical and logical mentalities. He follows with a wide-ranging and suggestive discussion of rationality and relativism and concludes with a discussion of new thinking in the history and philosophy of science, suggesting fresh perspectives on the classical opposition between science and magic.
Three Books of Occult Philosophy
by Henry C. Agrippa
Or download the PDF: archive.org
The vast store of magical lore within the Three Books of Occult Philosophy has been an essential resource for occultists since its original publication nearly five centuries ago. In this hardcover edition, editor Donald Tyson presents these writings in their complete form, free from the hundreds of errors made in the original translation and supplemented by notes and explanations to contextualize the material for the modern reader.
The most complete repository of Pagan and Neoplatonic magic ever compiled, this book is packed with material you will not find elsewhere, including copious extracts on magic from obscure or lost works by Pythagoras, Pliny the Elder, Cicero, Ptolemy, Plato, Aristotle, and many other authorities. Donald Tyson’s detailed annotations clarify difficult references and provide origins of quotations, expanding upon them as necessary in order to make Agrippa’s work more accessible.
As well as providing extensive insight into the foundations of the Western esoteric tradition, the Three Books of Occult Philosophy is the ultimate “how-to” for magical workings. It describes how to work all manner of divination and magic in such clear and useful detail that it is still the guide for modern techniques. And the extensive supplementary material―including biographical and geographical dictionaries and appendices―provides quick reference to many previously obscure matters in classical magic.