Saturday, February 25, 2012

The George C. Nowlan Lectures - by Braeden Wiens

Braeden Wiens                        The George C. Nowlan Lectures
            George Grant has many memorable lectures but perhaps the most interesting is the series of lectures he did at Acadia University in October 1969. At this point in his life Grant was still extremely well versed in the area of philosophy and politics. Grant brings the importance of the two aspects merging as one forth throughout the lecture as a focal point. The most important aspect of politics and perhaps the most negative is the areas of ideologies and only through an understanding of philosophy can politics truly flourish.
            Grant starts the lecture off by describing the relation between politics and philosophy. This relationship is described through the practice of politics and the thought of politics (Grant, 2005). By bringing forth three questions the topic is broadened. What is thought?  What is practice?  And what is politics are three questions that bring forth an understanding of how these two areas interact. Before delving into answers it is considered by Grant to be of great importance to explain the difference between state and society. Within society there are facts that cannot be explained by the state and vice versa. Through the separation of the two and having them work functionally in a community is the true definition of the polis (Grant, 2005).

Early Grant Influence - by Braeden Wiens

Braeden Wiens                                    Early Grant Influence

            George Grant is one of the greatest Canadian philosophers to have lived.  His intricate work on what Canada was and where Canada is going has lead to incredible advancements in philosophy and politics.  However, this great thinker was no different than any other man at a young age. Throughout his publications it is apparent that there was a shift in thought that lead him to become the author and thinker that we see today. Several of his works from the 30’s on culminating in the achievement of Lament for a Nation will be looked at and the progression of development that caused this change will be looked at.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stephen Leacock and George Grant: Faith and Politics by Ron Dart

Stephen Leacock was perhaps the greatest English Canadian intellectual of his generation.
Damien-Claude Belanger

George Grant was Canada’s most significant public philosopher.  Graeme Nicholson

Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) and George Grant (1918-1988) were men of deep religious faith and passionate about politics. Both men were firmly rooted and grounded in the Anglican tradition, were committed to the classical Canadian conservative political vision and were prominent professors at public universities and in public life. These men did not retreat into private institutions to protect a fragile faith that could not stand up to the challenges of serious and substantive intellectual thought.

Leacock and Grant: Anglicans for all seasons - by Ron Dart


Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) is a Canadian icon, and most know him as our national court jester. Laughter does hold both its sides when Leacock’s many short stories are read and pondered. Fewer Canadians know that Leacock was a political economist, and he taught at McGill University until he retired in 1936. In fact, Leacock’s best selling books were more in the discipline of political science rather than his many collections in the genre of humour. But, fewer still know that Leacock was a committed Anglican, and, in many ways, he was the most public and best known Anglican in the history of Canadian political, literary and religious life.

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912) and Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich (1914) are Canadian literary classics, and it is impossible to miss Leacock’s  Anglican and political  vision in these memorable missives. Leacock never flinches from asking hard religious, economic and political questions in these tracts for the times, but his satiric and critical bite is always tempered with plenty of humour and kindness. Leacock was as willing to doubt the dogmatism of liberalism as he was the reactionary nature of much conservatism. He did, in thought, word and deed, embody a subtle and nuanced via media.