The Faces of Reason: An Essay on Philosophy and Culture in English Canada, 1850-1950

By Leslie Armour; Elizabeth Trott | Go to book overview

TWELVE
THE FRAGMENTATION OF REASON

Rupert Lodge and Henry Wright

LODGE AND WRIGHT came to Canada within a year of one another, arrived at the University of Manitoba in the same year, 1920, and served as joint "heads" of the Manitoba philosophy department for fourteen years. Both spent their whole careers there, though after 1934 Lodge became sole head of the philosophy department while Wright went to the psychology department.

Lodge had come to Manitoba from England, by way of Germany, Minnesota, and Alberta. He had already distinguished himself as the author of a work on modern logic,1 an expert on Locke, and the translator of the now largely forgotten Italian philosopher Bernardino Varisco.2 Despite this array of interests, he continued to be a proponent of the Oxford idealism.

Wright had been educated at Cornell, taught there briefly, and then became professor of philosophy at Lake Forest College in Illinois where he had written books on ethics and religion and distinguished himself as an expert on self-realization theories. He, too, had been reared on the moderate kind of idealism, sustained at Cornell by Jacob Gould Schurman. In a way, Schurman's idealism had come home, but Wright had become interested in Dewey (himself a breakaway from the then fashionable idealism) and pragmatic thought played, by 1920, a significant though not dominant role in his philosophical criticism.

Both wrote continuously and extensively and remained amongst the most productive philosophers in Canada for nearly thirty years.

Lodge and Wright, apparently, were men of different temperaments and, to some extent, of different outlooks. Those who remember them recall that there was some tension between them, though, given the peculiarities of two-headed institutions and the

____________________
1
Rupert Clendon Lodge, An Introduction to Modern Logic ( Minneapolis: Perine Book Co., 1920).
2
Bernardino Varisco, The Great Problems, trans. Rupert Lodge ( London: G. Allen, 1914).

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