Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
I just purchased the William Desmond Reader for a course I'm taking through the Global Center for Advanced Studies. I'm not familiar with Desmond, but from a first glimpse, his work looks very interesting. He appears to be a "prepositional" philosopher, describing his approach as metaxological metaphysics -- a metaphysics of the "between" -- which (as the book intro states) seeks a different way to relate to sameness and difference than is found in Hegel's dialectical approach.
Here's a quote from the Introduction:
"Metaphysics in the grand style has gone out of fashion among philosophers in the postmodern and resolutely postmetaphysical tradition. But Desmond proposes an approach to metaphysics that avoids the extreme of a priori arguments, like the ontological proof, and adheres more closely to an experiential base.
The theoretical core and signature idea of Desmond's thought is the 'between,' which leads him to describe his work as a 'metaxology' (from the Greek metaxu). The metaxological can be thought of as a different way to relate to the same and different, in contrast to the Hegelian way of 'dialectical' mediation, which unites them in a higher unity. For the upshot of Hegelian mediation, he argues, is to close the circle between the same and the different and thereby to subordinate everything to the rule of a higher integration and sameness. The 'between' means to keep this circle open and in that way to preserve difference. Never attaining the ground of a higher totalizing and integrating unity, the 'between' occupies the open space that preserves the distance of the same from the different. The same does not return to itself through the different; rather the space of the play between the same and the different is sustained, allowing for relations of otherness, difference, and plurality to obtain along several orders -- between mind and being, immanence and transcendence, finite and infinite, and singular and universal. Desmond is thus able to orchestrate his leitmotif across several philosophical domains -- including art, ethics, and religion -- but the guiding insight is at root metaphysical. Viewed in the light of postmetaphysical critiques of Hegel, Desmond's work invites three questions having to do in turn with classical metaphysics, phenomenological ontology, and the postmetaphysical."
Just for reference (as well as for anyone who would like to read it), here is a copy of Desmond's essay, Being True to Mystery. I've quoted from it above. It has some good, relevant (for this forum) discussion of the relation of metaphysics and postmetaphysics, among other things.