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Res Philosophica

Volume 96, Issue 1, January 2019

Andrew Pinsent
Pages 3-15
DOI: 10.11612/resphil.1746

Spell-Breaking with Revitalizing Metaphors

Growing public interest in the dark arts, and the fact that even some philosophers have been accused of casting spells with their own writings, suggest that philosophers should not wholly neglect the topics of spells and spell-breaking. In this paper, written in honor of an effective spell-breaker in social and leadership contexts, Fr Theodore Vitali, I set out a taxonomy of spells and ways in which some philosophers may be said to cast them in a naturalistic sense. I also examine ways of breaking a spell, with reference to the will and second-person relationship. I conclude with a brief observation about the desire for intellectual completeness, the root of a disordered appeal of at least some spells to their victims, suggesting an alternative scenario for a good satisfaction of this desire.