John William Miller

John William Miller

Born 1895

John William Miller was an American philosopher in the idealist tradition. His work appears in six published volumes, including The Paradox of Cause (1978) and most recently The Task of Criticism (2006). His principal philosophical ambitions were 1) to reconcile the idealism of Josiah Royce and the pragmatism of William James and 2) to integrate philosophical thought and historical thought.… Read More

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1895 Birth John William Miller was born on January 8, 1895 in Rochester, New York.


1912 17 Years Old He began his undergraduate education at Harvard University in 1912, transferred to the University of Rochester for his sophomore and junior years, and then returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his senior year.


1916 21 Years Old Miller received his A. B. from Harvard in 1916. … Read More
1921 26 Years Old In 1921 Miller received his master's degree and, under the direction of Hocking, went on to compose a work on the fundamental connection among epistemology, semiotics, and ontology. … Read More
1922 27 Years Old Miller's teaching career began in 1922 with an appointment at Connecticut College. … Read More
1924 29 Years Old In the fall of 1924 he took a position at Williams College in the Berkshire Mountains of northwest Massachusetts. … Read More


1931 36 Years Old He served as chair of the philosophy department from 1931 to 1955 and influenced three generations of students. (Miller was often selected by graduating classes as the most influential professor at Williams and twice the college yearbook was dedicated to him.) From 1945 on he was Mark Hopkins Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, a title inherited from his colleague and predecessor as chair, the critical realist James Bissett Pratt. … Read More


1960 65 Years Old Upon his retirement in 1960, Miller remained in Williamstown and continued his practice of philosophical conversation. … Read More
1961 66 Years Old In 1961 Miller published "The Ahistoric and the Historic" as an Afterword to a volume of translated essays by José Ortega y Gasset, History as a System and Other Essays Toward a Philosophy of History. … Read More
1978 83 Years Old …  Miller continued to write and clarify his philosophical position right up until his death on December 25, 1978. … Read More
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