The Undiscovered Country

In this sequence of essays, Ian Angus engages with themes of identity, power, and the nation as they emerge in contemporary English Canadian philosophical thought, seeking to prepare the groundwork for a critical theory of neoliberal globalization. The essays are organized into three parts. The opening part offers a nuanced critique of the Hegelian confidence and progressivism that has come to dominate Canadian intellectual life. Through an analysis of the work of several prominent Canadian thinkers, among them Charles Taylor and C. B. Macpherson, Angus suggests that Hegelian frames of reference are inadequate, failing as they do to accommodate the fact of English Canada’s continuing indebtedness to empire. The second part focuses on national identity and political culture, including the role of Canadian studies as a discipline, adapting its critical method to Canadian political culture. The first two parts culminate in the positive articulation, in Part 3, of author’s own conception, one that is at once more utopian and more tragic than that of the first two parts. Here, Angus develops the concept of locative thought—the thinking of a people who have undergone dispossession, “of a people seeking its place and therefore of a people that has not yet found its place.”

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Contents 8
Preface 10
PART I: THE DOMINANT HEGELIANISM OF CANADIAN INTELLECTUAL LIFE 14
1 Introduction: The Instituting Polemos of English Canadian Culture 16
2 Charles Taylor’s Account of Modernity 28
3 James Doull and the Philosophic Task of Our Time 44
4 C. B. Macpherson’s Developmental Liberalism 54
5 Athens and Jerusalem? Philosophy and Religion in George Grant’s Thought 62
PART II: IS CANADA A NATION? 90
6 Introduction: National Identity as Solidarity 92
7 Winthrop Pickard Bell on the Idea of a Nation 98
8 Canadian Studies: Retrospect and Prospect 112
9 Gad Horowitz and the Political Culture of English Canada 134
10 Empire, Border, Place: A Critique of Hardt and Negri’s Concept of Empire 154
11 The Difference Between Canadian and American Political Cultures Revisited 174
PART III: LOCATIVE THOUGHT 188
12 Introduction: Philosophy, Culture, Critique 190
13 Social Movements Versus the Global Neoliberal Regime 200
14 Continuing Dispossession: Clearances as a Literary and Philosophical Theme 222
APPENDIX: 1 Jean-Philippe Warren, “Are Multiple Nations the Solution? An Interview with Ian Angus” 240
APPENDIX: 2 Bob Hanke, “Conversation on the University: An Interview with Ian Angus” 258
Notes 282
Publication Credits 300
A 302
B 302
C 302
Index 302
D 303
E 303
I 304
H 304
G 304
F 304
K 305
M 305
L 305
N 305
J 305
O 306
R 306
Q 306
P 306
S 306
T 307
U 307
V 307
W 307
X 307
Z 307