Descrying the Ideal: The Philosophy of John William Miller

By Stephen Tyman | Go to book overview

1
View from the Midworld

Seldom has there stood long against the querulous and the skeptical any foundation with pretensions of supporting the entire edifice of knowledge. Whether from the highlands of Scotland or the lowlands of France they come, there are always enough critics to shake down the renewed ambitions of the dogma of reason, and the illusion of the hegemony of the enterprise of mind. So, fragile as it is, a good foundation is a precious thing: as precarious as an alpine flower it hangs delicately in the balance between sere and flood. It must be firm, but too firm and it loses the plasticity of life; it must be vibrant and adaptable, but too phlegmatic and it loses its place in the world.

Allow me to introduce you to a new kind of foundation: the midworld of John William Miller. It is a conception that attempts to steer a delicate middle course through a terrain that so often in the past has presented such fatal resistance that the very journey is today widely abandoned in despair. Miller is the prophet of a radically founding and creative humanity; his is a humanism raised to ontological standing, and one suited to a situation that engenders so much self-doubt that it has for three generations now been widely recognized as a time of cultural crisis. To this crisis much theoretical mediation, always involving some type of

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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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