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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
Uncommon Sense: A Theory of Human Purpose by J.R. Miller is not for the intellectually faint of heart. Self-purportedly a kind of academic dispatch from the margins of conventional humanistic understanding, because “through strong objectivity and the outsider-within phenomenon, marginalized individuals are placed in a unique position to point to patterns of behavior that those immersed in the dominant group culture are unable to recognize,” this meticulously developed argument/theory/proposal reads like a university dissertation. Miller is conscientious in preparing the reader for his paradigm-altering material, laying the groundwork early and inclusively for a discussion based primarily on the symbolic determinant of semiotics as a model for the world, for evolution, and ultimately for explaining the nature and potential of human purpose. Thus, all discussion becomes subsumed within his all-consuming: Subjective Annihilation Theory.
Uncommon Sense: A Theory of Human Purpose is much too complex to summarize with some ultra-concise marketing throwaway tagline, and J.R. Miller has applied too much academic rigor to his thinking to simplify his theory with some offhand cliché remark. This treatise was prepared and presented with the precision and specificity of a legal brief or scientific paper, and any assessment of its content, arguments, or conclusions (especially regarding the many axioms presented as both the determinants and relative assumptions on which Miller’s methodology depends) demands and requires the commitment, accessibility, and pinpoint receptivity of a thoroughly, and hopefully interested party familiar with the subject. What may be stated with absolute certainty, however, is that Miller’s work is ultimately impressive, internally consistent, rationally cohesive, and mostly convincing. In the end, Uncommon Sense, even with its uncommonly cynical objectivity, makes a lot of sense.