The Rediscovery of Meaning

The Rediscovery of Meaning

The Rediscovery of Meaning

"Owen Barfield has unusual ideas about human nature and reality.. Now this seasoned British thinker.offers a collection of Ýessays ̈ that reflects the entire range of his interests, including the philosophy of science, physics, biology, psychology, metaphysics, aesthetics, literature, linguistics, and religion.. He is a prophet of the New Consciousness who has been around a long time; and he may well be the most comprehensive and critically incisive of them all." -The Kirkus Reviews

Owen Barfield

Owen Barfield

Owen Barfield

In this book Michael Di Fuccia examines the theological import of Owen Barfield's poetic philosophy. He argues that philosophies of immanence fail to account for creativity, as is evident in the false shuttling between modernity's active construal and postmodernity's passive construal of subjectivity. In both extremes subjectivity actually dissolves, divesting one of any creative integrity. Di Fuccia shows how in Barfield's scheme the creative subject appears instead to inhabit a middle or medial realm, which upholds one's creative integrity. It is in this way that Barfield's poetic philosophy gestures toward a theological vision of poiēsis proper, wherein creativity is envisaged as neither purely passive nor purely active, but middle. Creativity, thus, is not immanent but mediated, a participation in God's primordial poiēsis.

Poetic Diction

Poetic Diction

Poetic Diction

Barfield discusses poetry’s meaning in terms of both his personal experience and objective standards of criticism.

The Virtues of Ignorance

The Virtues of Ignorance

The Virtues of Ignorance

Human dependence on technology has increased exponentially over the past several centuries, and so too has the notion that we can fix environmental problems with scientific applications. The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge proposes an alternative to this hubristic, shortsighted, and dangerous worldview. The contributors argue that uncritical faith in scientific knowledge has created many of the problems now threatening the planet and that our wholesale reliance on scientific progress is both untenable and myopic. Bill Vitek, Wes Jackson, and a diverse group of thinkers, including Wendell Berry, Anna Peterson, and Robert Root-Bernstein, offer profound arguments for the advantages of an ignorance-based worldview. Their essays explore this philosophy from numerous perspectives, including its origins, its essence, and how its implementation can preserve vital natural resources for posterity. All conclude that we must simply accept the proposition that our ignorance far exceeds our knowledge and always will. Rejecting the belief that science and technology are benignly at the service of society, the authors argue that recognizing ignorance might be the only path to reliable knowledge. They also uncover an interesting paradox: knowledge and insight accumulate fastest in the minds of those who hold an ignorance-based worldview, for by examining the alternatives to a technology-based culture, they expand their imaginations. Demonstrating that knowledge-based worldviews are more dangerous than useful, The Virtues of Ignorance looks closely at the relationship between the land and the future generations who will depend on it. The authors argue that we can never improve upon nature but that we can, by putting this new perspective to work in our professional and personal lives, live sustainably on Earth.

Planet Narnia

Planet Narnia

Planet Narnia

For over half a century, scholars have laboured to show that C. S. Lewis's famed but apparently disorganised Chronicles of Narnia have an underlying symbolic coherence, pointing to such possible unifying themes as the seven sacraments, the seven deadly sins, and the seven books of Spenser's Faerie Queene. None of these explanations has won general acceptance and the structure of Narnia's symbolism has remained a mystery. Michael Ward has finally solved the enigma. In Planet Narnia he demonstrates that medieval cosmology, a subject which fascinated Lewis throughout his life, provides the imaginative key to the seven novels. Drawing on the whole range of Lewis's writings (including previously unpublished drafts of the Chronicles), Ward reveals how the Narnia stories were designed to express the characteristics of the seven medieval planets - - Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn - - planets which Lewis described as "spiritual symbols of permanent value" and "especially worthwhile in our own generation". Using these seven symbols, Lewis secretly constructed the Chronicles so that in each book the plot-line, the ornamental details, and, most important, the portrayal of the Christ-figure of Aslan, all serve to communicate the governing planetary personality. The cosmological theme of each Chronicle is what Lewis called 'the kappa element in romance', the atmospheric essence of a story, everywhere present but nowhere explicit. The reader inhabits this atmosphere and thus imaginatively gains conna?tre knowledge of the spiritual character which the tale was created to embody. Planet Narnia is a ground-breaking study that will provoke a major revaluation not only of the Chronicles, but of Lewis's whole literary and theological outlook. Ward uncovers a much subtler writer and thinker than has previously been recognized, whose central interests were hiddenness, immanence, and knowledge by acquaintance.

Insight imagination

Insight imagination

Insight imagination

Sloan argues that a fundamental transformation of our ideas about knowing, our selves, and our world is not only possible, but necessary. The key to this transformation lies in an understanding of insight-imagination--the involvement of the thinking, feeling, willing, valuing person in knowing. The possibility and mode of effecting this transformation is the subject of Insight-Imagination. Sloan examines alternative and potentially more constructive intellectual approaches as developed in the radical humanities and the world's great religious traditions. The author explores the role of education in the transformation of consciousness and the effect of this transformation on education.

Philosophy and the Evolution of Consciousness

Philosophy and the Evolution of Consciousness

Philosophy and the Evolution of Consciousness

The history of philosophy has been studied as if it were a long discussion between participants of differing opinions living in different ages, but all in the same world. Though Heraclitus and Descartes can no longer respond to new questions or current attacks on their positions, nevertheless, to the degree that we are all human, and all live in the same world, such questions and attacks are reasonably fair. Until recently. In the last 50 years, the significance of the qualifier "to the degree that" has changed radically. What if it turns out that, as far as living in the same world goes, we today actually have very little in common with Heraclitus, or even Descartes? Then we are attempting to carry on discussions with participants who are not our contemporaries, and the world they were speculating about is not the same world we today are speculating about. Then the nature of the discussion - the history of philosophy - takes on a very different character. Philosophy and the Evolution of Consciousness takes talk of "alternative conceptual schemes" current in philosophy today and applies it in the very place most likely to warrant the change: the history of philosophy itself.

Philosophy of Technology

Philosophy of Technology

Philosophy of Technology

The corps of philosophers who make up the Society for Philosophy & Technology has now been collaborating, in one fashion or another, for almost fifteen years. In addition, the number of philosophers, world-wide, who have begun to focus their analytical skills on technology and related social problems grows increasingly every year. {It would certainly swell the ranks if all of them joined the Society!) It seems more than ap propriate, in this context, to publish a miscellaneous volume that em phasizes the extraordinary range and diversity of contemporary contribu tions to the philosophical understanding of the exceedingly complex phenomenon that is modern technology. My thanks, once again, to the anonymous referees who do so much to maintain standards for the series. And thanks also to the secretaries - Mary Imperatore and Dorothy Milsom - in the Philosophy Department at the University of Delaware; their typing and retyping of the MSS, and especially notes and references, also contributes to keeping our standards high. PAUL T. DURBIN vii Paul T. Durbin (ed.), Philosophy ofT echnology, p. vii.