Owen Barfield (9 November 1898 – 14 December 1997) was a British philosopher, author, poet, and critic.
Barfield was born in London. He was educated at Highgate School and Wadham College, Oxford and in 1920 received a 1st class degree in English language and literature. After finishing his B. Litt., which became the book Poetic Diction, he worked as a solicitor. Because of his career as a solicitor, Barfield contributed to philosophy as a non-academic, publishing numerous essays, books, and articles. His primary focus was on what he called the "evolution of consciousness," which is an idea which occurs frequently in his writings. He is most famous today as a friend of C. S. Lewis and as the author of Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry.
Barfield met Lewis in 1919. In 1923 he married the stage designer Maud Douie. They adopted three children: Alexander, Lucy, and Geoffrey. Lewis wrote his 1949 book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for Lucy Barfield and he dedicated The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to her brother Geoffrey in 1952. Barfield died in Forest Row in Sussex.
Famous quotes containing the words owen and/or barfield:
“We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy.”
—Wilfred Owen (18931918)
“By contrast with history, evolution is an unconscious process. Another, and perhaps a better way of putting it would be to say that evolution is a natural process, history a human one.... Insofar as we treat man as a part of naturefor instance in a biological survey of evolutionwe are precisely not treating him as a historical being. As a historically developing being, he is set over against nature, both as a knower and as a doer.”
—Owen Barfield (b. 1898)