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Philosophy Ancient & Classical

The Birth of Reason

by (author) Louis Dudek

Publisher
DC Books
Initial publish date
Aug 1994
Category
Ancient & Classical, Canadian, Ancient & Classical
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780919688414
    Publish Date
    Aug 1994
    List Price
    $32.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780919688438
    Publish Date
    Nov 1994
    List Price
    $29.95

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Description

In The Birth of Reason Louis Dudek establishes the link between ancient pre-Socratic Atomism and modern quantum mechanics. In characteristically unencumbered terms, Dudek shows how this revolutionary philosophy, the invention of thinkers from Ioanian Greek trading cities, has been consistently misrepresented and resisted. Atomism nevertheless marks the transition from primitive mythological thinking (mythos) to the abstract, concept-based rationality (logos) that informs our modern approach to an ultimately unknowable reality.
This essay "is a kind of summation of myself — gnothi seautón.... I am neither a materialist nor a theist, really, nor am I altogether an agnostic. As I say in [the] essay, 'the ultimate reality is unknowable,' but I am sure that if it were knowable it would satisfy both the materialist and the theist, and much more that we cannot imagine."
Identified by Wynne Francis as Canada's first "man of letters," Dudek once again ventures into new intellectual territory — and reveals the underpinnings of his own remarkable cultural, social, and economic thought.

About the author

 

Karis Shearer is currently a doctoral candidate at The University of Western Ontario, where she is completing her dissertation on postmodern cultural workers and the Canadian long poem. She has published articles on women’s writing and the poetry of Lynn Crosbie, and has guest-edited an issue of Open Letter on new Canadian fiction writers.

Louis Dudek was one of Canada’s most important and influential cultural workers. After gaining his PhD from Columbia University, Dudek in 1951 returned from New York to Montreal, the city of his birth, to take up a position as professor of English at McGill. Dudek’s return to Canada marked the beginning of his efforts to revolutionize the Montreal poetry scene through little magazines and small-press publishing, providing alternatives to commercial presses and opportunities for talented young poets. In 1956 he started The McGill Poetry Series, which gave a start to several young poets, including Leonard Cohen. The author of numerous books of poetry, Louis Dudek died in 2001.

Frank Davey has been a poet, editor, small-magazine publisher, literary critic, and cultural critic in Canada since 1961. He is editor and co-founder of the influential poetry newsletter Tish (1961-63) and since 1965 editor of Open Letter, the Canadian journal of writing and theory. With Fred Wah in 1984, he founded SwiftCurrent, the world’s first online literary magazine, and operated it until 1990. His more than forty books include Louis Dudek and Raymond Souster (1980), The Abbotsford Guide to India (1986), Reading Canadian Reading (1988), Canadian Literary Power (1994), and Back to the War (2005).

 

Louis Dudek's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"If anyone could make the Ionian skeptics palatable to a generation raised on music and television, it's Louis Dudek."
— The Ottawa Citizen
"...the highlight is ... 39 fragments from the pre-Socratics that Dudek astutely describes as reading 'like a philosophical poem.'"
— The Montreal Gazette
"...includes the thesis that the scientific conception of the universe ... is the most advanced stage of religious evolution."
— Canadian Book Review Annual

“If anyone could make the Ionian skeptics palatable to a generation raised on music and television, it’s Louis Dudek.”

— The Ottawa Citizen

“...the highlight is ... 39 fragments from the pre-Socratics that Dudek astutely describes as reading ‘like a philosophical poem.’”

— The Montreal Gazette

“...includes the thesis that the scientific conception of the universe ... is the most advanced stage of religious evolution.”

— Canadian Book Review Annual

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