Descrying the Ideal: The Philosophy of John William Miller

By Stephen Tyman | Go to book overview

Preface

John William Miller was the Mark Hopkins Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy at Williams College for the last fifteen years of a tenure that lasted from 1924 to 1960. After his retirement he continued an active intellectual life, largely in the form of extended philosophical correspondence, until his death in 1978. In the late 1970s a series of volumes began to appear, edited by George Brockway, representing the fruits of Miller's many decades of philosophical labor. Gradually, in the last decade, interest in Miller's work has risen. In 1990, Joseph Fell edited an issue of the Bucknell Review devoted entirely to Miller's thought entitled The Philosophy of John William Miller. The wide range of interests and disciplines represented in this volume is suggestive of just how far Miller's influence has already grown. This development occasions the need for expository and exploratory work in greater depth, so that a beginning may be made in understanding Miller's potential historical significance.

Any author like Miller, the bulk of whose work appears posthumously, presents grave problems of interpretation. These problems fall into two basic categories. First, there are bibliographical questions and questions pertaining to the constitution of the texts. Second, there are questions of context, the intellectual envi-

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Descrying the Ideal: The Philosophy of John William Miller
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • 1 - View from the Midworld 1
  • 2 - The Active Psyche 22
  • 3 - Ethos and Responsibility 44
  • 4 - Refractions of Historicity 69
  • 5 - Causes and Things 94
  • 6 - Idealism and Disclosure 115
  • Notes 133
  • Works By John William Miller 137
  • Bibliography 139
  • Index 143
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