Philosophy and Freedom:
The Legacy of James Doull
Edited by Dr. David Peddle
|Dr. David Peddle
Philosophy and Freedom: The Legacy of James Doull is a collection of seminal essays by the influential classicist and philosopher James Doull together with commentaries on these essays by scholars from the disciplines of classics, philosophy, theology and history. The book provides an introduction to Doull’s position and the school of thought which he founded.
James Doull established his school of thought through his long tenure as a professor in the Classics Department at Dalhousie University. After graduating from Dalhousie himself in 1939 with a degree in classics, Doull spent several years both before and after the Second World War in various graduate schools – at the University of Toronto, Harvard, Oxford – educating himself in the tradition of western philosophy and theology, influenced in particular by his studies under the supervision of Charles Cochrane, the great classicist at the University of Toronto.
In 1947, Doull, along with George Grant, took up an appointment at Dalhousie University. The two – Doull in Classics, and Grant in Philosophy – established an astonishingly vibrant intellectual context for philosophic education.
While Grant moved to McMaster University in 1960, Doull stayed on at Dalhousie, and played a central role not only by establishing his distinctive approach in the Dalhousie Classics department and its academic journal, Dionysius, but also, through his many students, in giving shape to the Foundation Year Program at the University of King’s College. Likewise, Doull’s influence has been formative in the Philosophy Department of Memorial University and its Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Campus, and in Canada’s first internet journal of Philosophy, Animus.
Philosophy and Freedom presents Doull’s remarkable and complex argument as providing a philosophical account of the contemporary relevance of the ancient, medieval and modern worlds for our own post-modern culture. The commentaries provide elucidation of Doull’s position and a critical engagement with his arguments in an effort to make an important moment in the history of Canadian thought available to a wider audience.
David Peddle is an assistant professor of philosophy at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.
Philosphy and Freedom: The Legacy of James Doull is published by the University of Toronto Press.
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