Collected Works of George Grant

Article excerpt

Arthur Davis (ed.), Collected Works of George Grant, vol. 2: 1951-1959 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), xxxvi + 564pp. Cloth. £80. ISBN 0-8020- 0763-5.

George Grant, although very unfashionable in his world view, is not now ignored: indeed, this volume is the second in a series of eight, which will incorporate all his published and unpublished writings, including his letters. It tells of his time as a teacher of philosophy at Dalhousie University, and comprises articles, broadcast talks, an unpublished typescript of a book, lectures and poems.

One of the most important Canadian philosophers of the last century, Grant was early at odds with most professors of his subject in established departments, who tended to ignore his work even - or especially - after he became well known. He was criticised for his religious assumptions, and for weaving economic matters, current politics and social questions into philosophic study. His essay in the 1951 Massey Royal Commission Report caused hostility and indignation. He saw his task not only as technical work for the few but as discovering a way of life open to all.

Among his writings in the 1950s is an entertaining and stimulating attack on Bertrand Russell, who is accused of combining a denigration of rational truth with a multiplicity of judgements on politics, etc. Grant never lacked courage. …