Fateful Shapes of Human Freedom
John William Miller and the Crises of Modernity
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
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There are of course far too many debts to acknowledge here. But the personal and intellectual support and encouragement of certain friends and colleagues have been, without exaggeration, indispensable. ...
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John William Miller (1895–1978) was an American philosopher who exerted a tremendous personal influence on his many students but, because he published very little during his career, had little impact on professional philosophy during his lifetime, beyond the circles of his acquaintances.1 ...
Chapter 1 Crises of Modernity
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Karl Marx claimed humans make history but not in circumstances of their own choosing.2 The circumstances in which we live, however, are ineluctably maintained by our efforts to make a life for ourselves. Yet they are of such a character and complexity that they cannot be maintained without being revised: ...
Chapter 2 Revision of Philosophy
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Just as the movement beyond modernity requires a revision of history, so the turn toward history requires a revision of philosophy. The revision of philosophy John William Miller advocates demands a conceptualization of the midworld, a domain of both experience and the actualities to which experience attests that is not reducible to appearance or reality, ...
Chapter 3 The Midworld
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John William Miller, like Theodor Adorno, a contemporary philosopher also engaged in thinking through German idealism, affirmed the actuality of philosophy but affirmed it provisionally (Adorno 1977, 120). The actuality of philosophy today depends on its renewed actualization in altered circumstances. ...
Chapter 4 Historical Displacements and Situated Narratives: Locating Responsibility
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Miller was a man of his time. His being so signals not so much a limitation as an exemplary confrontation with the finite actuality of a particular phase of late modernity. Paradoxically, his relevance to our time is largely a function of his confrontation with the actuality of his time. ...
Chapter 5 Critique, Narration, and Revelation
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The pivotal point of the previous chapter is one of John William Miller’s most basic affirmations: a price is to be paid for critique. In particular, self-critique requires the self-maintenance of those discourses, institutions, and practices on which all forms of criticism depend.1 ...
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Page Count: 360
Publication Year: 2003