Not only ages, but worlds, have passed away. The deepest puzzles of philosophers' texts are windows into different worlds, not just statements of different opinions
The work of the English philosopher Owen Barfield has evoked great interest and enthusiasm in his readers. Ray Hart (Unfinished Man and the Imagination), Theodore Roszak (Where the Wasteland Ends), Neil Evernden (The Social Creation of Nature), Robert McDermott (Philosophy and Evolution of Consciousness), Morris Berman (The Reenchantment of the World), Stephen Talbott (The Future Does Not Computer: Transcending the Machines in Our Midst), and others have read Owen Barfield's work, and have incorporated that work into their own. Despite such attention, and that attention is growing, there is yet to be found a detailed, focused and extensive study of Barfield's work, namely his writings on the evolution of consciousness. Why the need for a detailed and focused study of Barfield's particular brand of an evolution of consciousness?
Barfield's work presents unique and yet unexplored implications for the study and understanding of the evolution of consciousness, especially the access to ancient and medieval consciousness via trained imagination. These implications suggest an exciting new look at the history of philosophy as the history of the changing human experience of reality, in contrast to the more common view of a mere dialectical progression of intellectual opinion, from Plato to Wittgenstein. The book will reward the reader of two sorts: the Barfield admirer will have a detailed study that can sustain detailed scrutiny, and yield detailed responses; the reader ignorant of Barfield will have an extendedintroduction to the man's work, an introduction that will provide some grounds and context for an informed and deeper reading of the man's work itself.
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