The Varieties of Wonder



Although wonder is a response to what is extraordinary or regarded as such, this covers a variety of things. Hence, wonder covers a spectrum from mere surprise or puzzlement to stronger responses like dread or amazement; moreover, it is often linked to other powerful responses like fear or admiration, and it can lead people into many pursuits and areas of reflection. I look at the variety of the objects of wonder, and of the neighbouring responses and conceptual connections found here, then I discuss the response of wonder itself, and its causes and effects. Finally, I ask why the sense of wonder can atrophy, and whether it can be suppressed deliberately.