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Review: Philosophy of Magic, by Arthur Versluis

By Taylor Ellwood | November 26, 2006 | Leave a comment

Philosophy of Magic, by Arthur Versluis
168 pp, 1986

This is a quick and short read. I liked some aspects of this book, but I’d also have to disagree with this author on a lot of his views. He tends toward a very mystical approach to magic, that its done mainly for spiritual purposes. He considers the use of it for practical purposes to deviate from the true goal of magic. The influence of Eastern mysticism is pretty apparent in this book. He also had a lot of inaccurate information on alchemy, trying to reduce to solely a symbolic activity. In this his book echoes the trend of a lot of authors that have attempted to reduce magic to pure symbolism.

It’s an interesting read for a mystical perspective on magic. Some people will like it better if that’s their approach.