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Philosophy and Freedom

Philosophy and Freedom: The Legacy of James Doull

David G. Peddle
Neil G. Robertson
  • Book Info
    Philosophy and Freedom
    Book Description:

    James Doull's remarkable legacy as a teacher, scholar, and thinker has left behind a profound and challenging examination of the philosophical and historical roots of contemporary thought and politics. His life's work was devoted to a reflection on freedom in its philosophical and historical context and, more specifically, to looking beneath the commonly accepted forms of North American and Continental thought and discovering a deeper theoretical and practical development. David Peddle and Neil Robertson have collected Doull's essays on the history of western thought and freedom, from the Ancient period to the Post-Modern era, and have provided an introduction that places them in the context of Doull's overall project.

    Commentaries on his intricate works by twelve former colleagues and students explore various aspects of Doull's history and place it within the context of contemporary scholarship, allowing the reader to judge the depth and rigour of Doull's writing. Together, the texts and commentaries provide a long-overdue introduction to and analysis of Doull's thought, offering further insight into a longstanding and significant dialogue in Canadian philosophy and classical studies, and bringing out a penetrating analysis of the philosophical underpinnings of the contemporary world.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7843-9
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    Graeme Nicholson
  5. Editors’ Introduction
    (pp. xvii-2)
  6. An Introduction by James Doull – Freedom and History: From Antiquity to Post-modernity
    (pp. 3-18)

    What, if anything, can be learned in our present age from a comprehensive study of former ages and of itself? By ‘learned’ I do not mean what store of curious information you have acquired and can talk and argue about subtly and entertainingly, but whether you have in some measure been educated to a better understanding of the present time in which you live and make your way - a better understanding, that is, than contained in the current dogmas you brought with you and everyone repeats. It seems at first sight that you can have learned nothing from the...

  7. Part One: The Ancient World

    • chapter one Tragedy, Comedy, and Philosophy in Antiquity
      (pp. 21-82)

      In ancient Judaism the beginning of a liberation from nature which is found in the great Indic religions may be said to be completed. There is no longer the endless process towards liberation from natural necessity, no longer the bondage of immutable natural and inherited differences in the ordering of human life. The individual has assumed instead the attitude of one freed from a Platonic cave to knowledge of the universal, knows the world as created and sustained by a free, self-conscious principle according to ideas. The end to which human life should be is a knowledge of this creative...

    • chapter two Plato’s Parmenides
      (pp. 83-166)

      The reader ofParmenidesshould put himself in the place of the Clazomenian philosophers who have come to Athens to hear the great argument of Socrates with Zeno and Parmenides as recorded in the memory of Antiphon. From it they would learn what Anaxagoras had not made clear, how thenous, alone unmixed, could relate to the atoms in each of which were all difference, the endless process of separating their differences from the original mixture. Of the atoms in this endless process nothing could be said distinctly that would not show itself as other in further division.

      Zeno gave...

    • chapter three Virgil’s Rome
      (pp. 167-200)

      The Roman religion is in certain respects similar to Judaism. In both there is a preoccupation with external goods at the same time as absolute submission to the authority of abstract thought. The Jewish law as the command of the one God is of its nature universal, but the peculiar possession of the chosen people, who can expect by its careful observance to prosper in their external interests. The relation of the faithful obedience to the law to prosperity is to be sought in God. Humanly the two may be separated beyond comprehension, as with Job. In the Roman religion...

  8. Part Two: Medieval to Renaissance

    • chapter four Augustine
      (pp. 203-218)

      The congruence of theological thought with the faith of the church which began with Athanasius is completed in the work of Augustine. What stood in the way of this congruence was a thought which did not have the form of its object, which treated it according to abstract categories whose movement and mediation was not in themselves but in the subject. In the belief of the church the movement does not fall to a subjective reflection but is of the Trinity itself. That theological remains thus separate from its absolute object has its source in this, that the movement of...

    • chapter five Neoplatonism and the Origin of the Older Modern Subject
      (pp. 219-278)

      Hegel, beginning his lectures on the history of the older modern philosophy, observed that that philosophy began where the ancient had ended: the new philosophy had its origin in a completion of the old. This completion he found in Neoplatonism: the divine self-consciousness which was for Aristotle the first among substances became in the full development of Neoplatonism the one comprehensive substance which, going into the division of an ideal and a sensible world, was at once the origin of that division and the end to which it returned. The appropriation of being by thought which began with Parmenides was...

  9. Part Three: Hegel, Modernity, and Post-modernity

    • chapter six Hegel’s Phenomenology and Post-modern Thought
      (pp. 281-329)

      ThePhenomenology of Spiritis an introduction to theScience of Logicand the other parts of the system one calls the Hegelian philosophy. It is introductory in that it brings to light the subjective principle of the older modern philosophy, wherein what is other than self-consciousness is related to it, through a reflective logic, as forms of consciousness. This reflective relation constitutes the ‘appearance’ of spirit: a creative thinking which, through the rational creature, knows its creation as itself. When all forms of this relation – subjective, objective or historical, conjunction of the two in religion – are considered...

    • chapter seven The Doull Fackenheim Debate - Would Hegel Today Be a Hegelian?
      (pp. 330-354)

      While taking its departure from James Doull’s review of myThe Religious Dimension in Hegel’s Thought (Dialogue, December 1968: 483–92), the present note is not intended to be an author’s reply to a reviewer - always in bad taste, and in this case quite unwarranted when the review in question shows all the fair-mindedness and care any author could ask for. My note is much rather part of a dialogue, agreed on in advance by both participants, in which Hegel, not a book on Hegel, is the subject. I have stated my belief that Hegel would not today be...

  10. Part Four: The Post-modern State

    • chapter eight Heidegger and the State
      (pp. 357-392)

      In the context of Heidegger’s thought it is not easy to say what the state is. The state has always been in some sense a complete society as having power to regulate the lives and private interests of a people, however far these powers might be neglected or abused. For Heidegger the relation of individuals at the present time to the system of their private interests, which he calls ‘Technik,’ is not only other than but threatens to overwhelm what might be called their political community or state. This latter has its existence for him not in a common political...

    • chapter nine The Philosophical Basis of Constitutional Discussion in Canada
      (pp. 393-504)

      The present constitutional crisis in Canada resembles that of the United States in the interval between gaining its independence and the discovery and ratification of the constitution which was to give stability to its revolution. The ‘patriation’ of the Canadian constitution did away with the last remnant of colonial dependence on Great Britain. We have not yet on our own discovered an acceptable formulation of our most difficult constitutional problem - how communities of a British and a French culture can constitute one political community without subordination or assimilation. The thirteen former colonies would have sunk into impotence had they...

  11. Bibliography of Essays by James Doull
    (pp. 505-508)
  12. Contributors
    (pp. 509-512)
  13. Index
    (pp. 513-520)