Your cart is empty.

The Faces of Reason

An Essay on Philosophy and Culture in English Canada1850-1950

By Leslie Armour & Elizabeth Trott
Subjects Philosophy, History, Canadian History, Cultural Studies
Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889202559, 574 pages, April 1995

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
The Faces of Reason: An Essay on Philosophy and Culture in English Canada 1850–1950, by Leslie Armour and Elizabeth Trott



Notes from the Authors


ONE Backgrounds and Themes

TWO Reason and Authority: James Beaven and Natural Theology

THREE Reason and Intuition: William Lyall and Philosophy in the Maritimes

FOUR Reason and Morality: George Paxton Young and the Foundations of Ethics

FIVE Reason, Authority, and the Structure of Experience: John Clark Murray

SIX Reason, Culture, and Power: Jacob Gould Schurman, The Philosopher as Office-Holder

SEVEN Reason as Social Understanding: John Watson-Part I

EIGHT Reason as Constitutive of Knowledge and Reality: John Watson-Part II

NINE Reason, Religion, and the Idea of Nature: George Blewett and James Ten Broeke

TEN The Self-Transcendence of Reason, and Evolutionary Mysticism: Richard M. Bucke and William D. Lighthall

ELEVEN Reason, Regionalism, and Social Policy: Wilfred Currier Keirstead, John Macdonald, and Herbert Leslie Stewart

TWELVE The Fragmentation of Reason: Rupert Lodge and Henry Wright

THIRTEEN Reason, History, and the Social Sciences: George Brett, John Irving, and Harold Innis

FOURTEEN Faith and Reason: The Catholic Philosophers

FIFTEEN The Idea of Reason and the Canadian Situation

Author and Title Index

Title Index

General Index


The Faces of Reason traces the history of philosophy in English Canada from 1850 to 1950, examining the major English-Canadian philosophers in detail adn setting them in the context of the main currents of Canadian thought. The book concludes with a brief survey of the period after 1950.

What is distinctive in Canadian philosophy, say the authors, is the concept of reason and the uses to which it is put. Reason has interacted with experience in a new world and a cold climate to create a distinctive Canadian community. The diversity of political, geographic, social, and religious factors has fostered a particular kind of thinking, particular ways of reasoning and communicating. Rather than one grand, overarching Canadian way of thinking, there are “many faces of reason,” “a kind of philosophic federalism”.

The book has two dimensions: “it is a continuos story which makes a point about the development of philosophical reason in the Canadian context. ... it is a reference work which may be consulted by readers interested in particular figures, ideas, movements, or periods. ”


``No library collecting in North American philosophy and its European roots and relationships should be without it. ''

- Tibor Horvath, Religious Studies Review, 11:1, January 1985

``For those interested in Canadian intellectual history, The Faces of Reason is an indispensable work, based on intensive research, written from a unified point of view, and expressed in an accessible style. ''

- J.T. Stevenson, Canadian Forum, June/July 1982

``Faces of Reason is made accessible to readers outside the area of philosophic study by the lucidity and liveliness of the writing. ...I do not think I have encountered, since Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy, a book in this field so open to the layman interested in the links--within the general cultural ambience--between philosophy and letters. ''

- George Woodcock, Canadian Literature, 94, Fall 1982

``An extraordinary document -- the first systematic history of the development of Canadian philosophy from 1850 to 1950. ''

- Arnold Ages, Toronto Star, May 22, 1982

``Now, The Faces of Reason comes to us with the glowing recommendations of Northrop Frye and George Grant. Frye exclaims, ``This is the kind of book I have been looking for for a long time. '' It is the kind of book that does for Canadian philosophy what Frye's own The Bush Garden has done for Canadian literature--it opened the mine of a rich deposit of Canadian culture. Grant praises Armour and Trott for providing ``the first published account of what went on in the teaching of philosophy in Canada which is really carefully and detailedly done. '

- Bart Testa, Globe and Mail, October 9, 1982