PREFACE

I HAVE TRIED in this book to justify the ancient view of philosophy as a synoptic mode of knowing that informs all our reasonable activities, and that so engages and transforms our passional natures as to warrant our calling it a wisdom. Although I intend "synoptic" in what I hope is a new and modest enough sense, conveyed in the book itself in terms less familiar and therefore less suitable for a preface, the undertaking is still a brash one. Yet I have compounded the offense by representing the justification as an expansion of reason's nature in an act of self-recognition, and by holding this justifying act to be a necessary condition for the right exercise of the synoptic mode of knowing. The justification therefore purports to make of philosophy what it ought to be and has not yet managed to become.

My excuse for this outrageous claim is that I have here only represented dramatically, and as already completed, an ontological expansion of reason that is in fact still in train in our time--in train, I mean, in reason, for which general power any philosopher must make bold to speak and act. If the expansion were in fact what I hope it will some day be, my expression of it would have been clearer than I know it to be.

-ix-

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