Dedicated to the philosophy of John William Miller, this website is a comprehensive resource on Miller’s career and thought. Inside is information about Miller’s life, teaching practice, and philosophy. Also available is a wealth of more detailed material including bibliographies, archival resources, and other items of interest to those considering Miller’s philosophy. Select any of the pages from the above menu and peruse the gathered materials. Information on essay prizes, research fellowships, and travel stipends are on the menu to the right. Please contact the Fund with proposals and to inquire about funding in these three categories.
What’s New at Williams
The inaugural John William Miller Lectureship took place on the Williams College campus in 2015. The first lectureship in a regular series was awarded to Arthur Fine, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Adjunct Professor of History, and Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Washington. Fine is best known for his book The Shaky Game: Einstein, Realism, and The Quantum Theory (Chicago, 1986) and he is currently at work on a project addressing foundational questions relating to quantum theory and exploring objectivity in relation to relativism, instrumentalism, and constructivism. As part of the lectureship Fine visited a class in the philosophy of physics, conducted a seminar with physicists and philosophers, and gave a public lecture, “Instrumentalism Revisited.” Associate Professor Keith McPartland was Fine’s host and the event was made possible by the support of Professor Melissa Barry.
Additional news from the Philosophy Department at Williams: The 2016 Miller Prize in Philosophy went to Conrad Damstra, a graduating senior who wrote an honors thesis on Hegel’s critique of Kant’s transcendental deduction. The Miller Fellowship Fund joins with the Philosophy Department in honoring the academic achievements of Mr. Damstra.
What’s New in Research Fellowships
The Fellowship Fund is pleased to announce that Peter S. Fosl, Professor of Philosophy at Transylvania University, has received a research fellowship for the academic year of 2017-2018. Fosl will explore the place of philosophical skepticism in Miller’s work. “Miller’s thought centers on a powerful critique and revision of the idea of knowledge that has oriented modern philosophy and much of the Western tradition. Skepticism, too, challenges the idea that knowing should center philosophy and even science,” Fosl stated. “I intend to set Miller’s thinking on these topics alongside the work of skeptical thinkers; the result, I anticipate, will illuminate the distinctive power and originality of this underappreciated philosopher.”
For further information on research fellowships, including details pertaining to funding available and the process of making an application, is presented on this website.
What’s New in the Fellowship Committee
The John William Miller Fellowship Fund Committee recently welcomed two new members: Lawrence Miller and Katie Nash. Miller, the grandson of John William Miller, continues the involvement of the Miller family in the regular operations of the Fund and joins his uncle, Paul, on the Committee. Nash, College Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at Williams, oversees the Miller Papers and so has a crucial role in maintaining Miller’s philosophical legacy. We are all grateful to have them on the Committee.
What’s New in Print
Culture and Values
In a 2014 number of the electronic journal Culture and Values (v. 12, no. 4) there is an essay by Katie Terezakis titled “To Philosophize is to Revise, Or, How German Idealism Became Historical in the Work of One Secluded American Thinker.” The issue is devoted German Idealism and in her article Terezakis explores connections between Miller’s training in German idealism and emergent forms of American pragmatism in the first half of the 20th century.
Commonplace Commitments: Thinking through the Legacy of Joseph P. Fell
In October 2016, Bucknell University Press published a volume of essays, Commonplace Commitments: Thinking through the Legacy of Joseph P. Fell, edited by Peter S. Fosl, Michael J. McGandy, and Mark D. Moorman, examining the thought of Miller’s student Joseph Fell. Because Fell’s work has both reflected and directly addressed Miller’s philosophy, a substantial portion of the book bears on Millers thought. Essays by Vincent Colapietro, McGandy, Moorman, and Katie Terezakis are of particular interest. For specific references look on the Scholarship page.
What’s New Online
Researchers and readers can now scan the finding guide to the Miller Papers online. (Click here to access the finding guide or go to the Web page of Archives and Special Collections at Williams College.) The find guide provides basic information on the contents of the archival collection including the titles of items, their date, and the basic subject matter addressed by each item. The online guide will be an invaluable aid to those planning their research or searching for an overlooked piece of writing.
What’s New in Presentations
At the Fifth International Conference on Ecstatic Naturalism Leon Niemoczynski, of Moravian College, presented a paper on the naturalistic idealism of John William Miller and how the concept of the midworld applies to philosophical ecology. The meeting took place at the Drew Theological School, Madison, New Jersey, in April 2015.