History and Philosophy in Quebec

 

History and Philosophy in Quebec

by Roland Houde

 

 

Tanslation From French to English

by Gabriel Furmuzachi

 

 

  • Preface
  • Historical Documentation (sources)
  • Conclusion
  • Appendixes
  • ...Quebec, Country to be Discovered and Conquered, by Marie-Victorin f.e.c.
  • French Philosophy in French Canada, by Julien Peghaire
  • Does Liberty Have a Past and a Future in French Canada?, by Fernand Dumont
  • The Philosophical Utensil of Canadian Writer, by Yves Theriault
  • Philosophy and Literature, by Jacques Brault
  • "...A Canadian Philosophy?", by Antonio Perrault

 

 

History and Philosophy in Quebec
by Roland Houde

Preface for today

"The university, this mother of fools, still is, as always, pregnant", said the unusual writer from Berthier, Constant Lavallee. 
This phrase has in view only the vice of the institution (educational) and not the achievements of the research (free). Until otherwise proved, here, university signifies: the conservation, transmission and improvement of knowledge and science, which refers to the teaching, research and servicing the community. 
"History and Philosophy in Quebec" represents my way of relating philosophical performance in French Canada, which redoes better or worst the philosophical movements of French - Quebecan institutions (colleges, universities, societies, editors). The general picture is then related to several recent inquiries (Yvan Lamonde and J.-P. Brodeur and their editors). [At Hurtubise HMH, in the philosophy collection supervised by Jean Paul Brodeur and George Leroux: Yvan Lamonde, Historiographie de la philosophie au Quebec (1853 - 1970) - 1971, 1972, 241pp. with index; at Bellarmin, in the collection Univers of philosophy, supervised by Yvon Lafrance and J.King- Farlow: the vol no 4, entitled La Philosophie et les savoires, 1975, (prepared by Jean Paul Brodeur and Robert Nadeau) containing "Quelques notes critiques sur la philosophie quebecoise" by Jean Paul Brodeur, p.237-73].
Thus, this is the nowadays position on the themes and problems of the history of philosophy in Quebec <<as it is said and recognized that there is Greek platonism, as well as French and English one>>, about which we will discuss in here. Or, even better, because even more precise, we shall try to see how mistakes can grow roots in here. Here is my question: How is it that the mistakes in analysis and interpretation find here easily and quickly their historian and/or their theoretician? I will give here a model of academism I thought decayed and surpassed but which survives and will survive as long as it will pay off for the universities. 
I am conscious of my limitations. Instead of making or describing the history of philosophical transformation in Quebec (would it have been a more interesting and lively history if it were spread in all the fields of analysis, interpretation or creation?), instead of researching the history of blossoming or of the mutations of ideas and performances, I was confined to stick with the history of several historical deformations which were present in certain environments. I make history and critique to go on the same line. Shouldn't we see life and those who live it the way they are? 
But, doing this, it is writing a particularly actual chapter on a philosophical transformation in Quebec, on an organization garnished or not with pseudo-scientific facts, in the historical way of a cumulative development which points, for any "social" person, to thematizing their past, to ordering and reordering their present according to this past, to the openness to an undetermined (but determinable) future which assigns actions to any task, making it appearing as creative, turned towards the "works" of any nature. 
Let us see these works. Let us see this past. Commencing with this work of research. Work which I would qualify now as a deontological analysis or historical critique. Which wanted to avoid the three dangers, the three traps inherent to any theoretic will: a) undergo its history; b) borrowing its language; c) going over its domain.
I hope you will remark that, at first, (p.17) I state my object and my object is, for me, this attention (all the attention) with regard to what I am interested, in a disinterested manner. In the second part (p.23) the quotidian life invites me to a personal retrospective, but which can be made general. In the third part (p.27-79) the prints or the impressions which treat the history of the philosophical teaching in Quebec are analyzed in order to determine their value, their amplitude and their limits. This last part wants to critically stress the lack of professionalism and seriousness form the part of Lamonde and his associates, the stupidity and futility of their projects which do nothing else but bring a bad service to the society or community that they pretend to serve, this being done by using public's or community's finance. 
But let us go to the texts. Since the authors should be content to write their books and leave the commentaries for the readers. Once again, our commentaries will be linear and bookish all the way. As human destiny, the destiny of books shelters amazing returns.

Roland Houde
Philosophie et etudes quebecoises, Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres
Haute-Mauricie 16.11.'76 - 20.01.'79


SITUATION

History and Philosophy

My work, at this point, will take the form of a communication (of an act of putting in common) which was not put in common before and moreover not realized in common: for the history of philosophy in Quebec. (1) It would be necessary to be distinguished constantly in this work and in during the lecture (audition) between the following experiences: 'for philosophy' and 'for a history of philosophy', or, moreover, between 'philosophical originality' and 'teaching of philosophy'. The distinction between both sides of these dyads lies basically on the gesture, the manner, the method; on the affirming oneself and being the means of knowledge; on the openness and closeness; on the dialog and first communion and repetition; on research and the transmission of the research; on knowing how to prove and proving one's knowledge; on proving and experiencing. Moreover, what I am doing here now, forces me to recognize these issues as distinct but also to regard them as complementary, implementary or supplementary and always having a social or public side on their common base: the historical roots and the semantic purification. In fact, more than anything else, the historical research and communication are means of history. In studying them, qualifying them and using them, historical communication cannot and must not forget anything. In order to see better, know and predict. In the area of history (of any possible discipline), hiding the means will not have any other result but commentaries which would be only necessary for unveiling them. My historical and critical focus in here, with regard to philosophy, would cover the period between 1920-1975 and specially the period between 1945-1975, which would be the last 30 years that I have lived as an observer of this small world of Canadian or Quebec philosophy into a much bigger world.

It must be noted that, it happens often that theoretical reflection upon the past is influenced by the project (also theoretical) of our work to come. There is always the temptation to decipher or decode the past in such a way that it will necessary reach a future already figured by our desire, by our will. In trying to surpass our antecedents we confer them at times an orientation convergent with our views and illusions. The problem is real - either we subject to the sense of history, or we subject history to our sense. Consequently, the methodological reflection would escort my critical work but without, for this reason, conferring a prejudicial authority or an antecedence itself "theoretical" to the statements of the method. This work will be nothing but an instrument, a tool: the emphatically historical precision used in a personal way has two perspectives: accepting everything (out of sympathy) and qualifying everything (out of comprehension); this means situating the passage between the dependence within love and the independence within attention.

It is a verifiable fact that, for some time on, in certain environments, it was usual to be limited only to overlooking or having a general perspective on the philosophy done in Quebec in order to, eventually, qualify it as a thought not yet born (Andre Vachet, Dialogue, vol. XV, no.2, June 1976, p.356); or as almost non-existent (Benoit Garceau, Dialogue, id., p. 359); as vacillating from powerless to void (J.P. Brodeur Le Devoire, 3 May, 1975, p.16); as lacking literature (George Leroux, Le Devoir, id., p. 16); as showing our inability, our lack of productivity (Yvan Lamonde, La Presse, 10 April 1976, D10); and all this, obviously and paradoxically, takes place in a theoretical environment which "always had its particular way to solve the problem of the critical assimilation of a thought: it is rather the commentator than the thinker" (J.P.Brodeur, "Quelques notes critiques sur la philosophie quebecoise", La philosophie et les savoirs, Bellarmin, 1975, p. 266). All these qualifications, descriptions and generalizations fit, in my view, into this verbal vague which is known by a country in the effort to build up a literature in making or a philosophy to come; - the very model of a simple discourse which serves for nothing but masking the weakness standing at its basis. Or is it the case that we are supposed to believe that, because the history of philosophy is easily manipulated, it would follow that this does immediately worth it? Without verification instruments, without documentation, without monographs or fundamental precise studies. But let us forget for a moment these awakenings of consciousness, these models of emancipator or compensatory messianism, or the Saint-John the Baptist of the academic philosophy, or the functionaries of philosophy (if 'functionary' is defined as being dependent of a reality foreign to it). (2)

"History and Philosophy in Quebec" will be (and is) my answer to Dumont's question asked at the time of Colloque de Trois-Rivieres (SPQ - mars 1975): "why one should be interested in such a research field?". I am interested in it because I am proud. Because it is our measure. I am not interested in it in order to contemplate it but to transform it. Not for denying but for criticizing it (according to my means, v.g. this note that I will edit one day, when I will have the Actes of the colloquium).(3) Not for laughing but for living "jovially". Not for being chauvinistic but for being serene and through this, in fact, trying, without violence to change it, both from interior and from exterior, the conditions of possibilities as well as the means for articulating them. Not for representing us but for better presenting ourselves. For situating ourselves here and everywhere else. As an (echo)-system, as a valid research program, here as well as anywhere. A program whose efficacy would be foreseeing - dominating (prevoir - pouvoir). And above all - now- as a rapport containing several outcomes in spite of the absence of the support. Finally convinced that after or before any explanation, there is the smoothness and the tenderness of silence.

The historical path with which I am concerned here develops, here as well as anywhere, within the framework of the constitution of the social sciences - humanities, inside the social environment which is the university (the net of the universitarian institutions). (4) This means that between the beginning and the end of the war (1939-45), philosophy - facing the establishment of social sciences, feels the need of becoming democratic; it is publicly scrutinizing itself, becomes critical about the culture exercising on it, recognizes the weakness of its wisdom. Remember the inquiries of this time: How should philosophers write? How should they conceive philosophy? (1946); of "Rupture" by Robert Elie (1936); of Projections liberantes by Borduas (1949)! Moreover, should it be emphasized?, it is the meeting of the nationals "Esprits". Actually, the first of the International Meetings in Geneva (from 2 to 14 September 1946) had as theme the "European spirit" which cannot (and could not) be defined properly for each 'spirit' , for each 'national philosophy'except through opposition; it is the same period of the Embarras du choix (Brice Parain, P., Gallimard, 1946 in the Collection Espoir, directed by Albert Camus): recognizing that the Marxism was neither a French philosophy, nor an American philosophy but Marx's 'philosophy'. But, more important, the signal was given: the teaching took 'the appearance of a parasitic institution' (B.Parain et J.J.Ribas, Les Etudiants et la reforme de l'universite, with a Preface by Henri Marrou-Davenson, P., of Etudiants de France, 1945). The year 1947 registers the apparition of "Plaidoyer pour la liberte de l'enseignement philosophique" by Mikel Dufrenne in Esprit (16th year, no. 3, March, P. 414-27). [See the appendix 1].While in here, in their way, the theologian L.A.Paquet, the dean of philosophy Ceslas Forest, o.p., Louis Lachance, o.p., et Gilles Belanger, among others, would qualify the 'res philosophicae', as it follows: " Philosophie", Le Canada francais, vol. LXXXIV, no.28, dec. 1943, p.23; "Le role de la philosophie a l'universite", Notre temps, vol.1, no.32, 25 mai 1946, p.6 and 8; "La philosophie", id., vol.2, no 21, 8 mars, 1947, p.8 et no 22, 15 mars, p.3; id., vol.1, no 26, 13 avril 1946, p.4. During this time, the second inter-American congress of philosophy is prepared and takes place at the university of Columbia (N.Y.) (Papers and Abstracts of the Second Inter-American Congress of Philosophy, American Philosophical Association, p.217), where professor Frondizi (the brother of the other) asks himself the same question as Ralph Barton Perry - "Is there an Ibero-American Philosophy?" and "Is there a North American Philosophy?" The representatives of the French Canada were absent but not without reason. Reread and keep in mind the propositions of Father Forest, o.p. [See the second appendix, p.62]. But the representatives of English Canada were there. They were having already for some time, their pre-Socratics as we have our pre-Quebecans and our first academies. Our English homologues confined, for them and for the others, our debut and our evolution: The Humanities in Canada, by Watson Kirkconnell and A.S.P. Woodhouse, A report prepared by the Humanities Research Council of Canada for the Rockefeller Foundation, 1947, p. 81-123: "The French Tradition: I, Colleges classique et II, Graduate studies" by Watson Kirkconnell and the bibliographical appendix (production) for Laval (p.248-51) and Montreal (p. 258-62)(5). But let us go back to our ideas. 
It seems to me a good moment to present, in the first place, some personal choices of historical facts for unmasking and driving out of the covers several quick synthesis called scientific or theoretical. Consider them as suggestions for a research program treating the "mentality", the national philosophical spirit, the philosophical institutions of Quebec. The roots cannot be recognized, cannot be analyzed and cannot be measured except when taken out. In the second place, I would like to add several more personal remarks. 
In the end, what appeared to me as the remarkable factors of the whole period (with which I am concerned) is, first, that the word "learning" was used or evolved more and more and got the sense of better understanding, understanding more, and not anymore -or less and less- the sense of stocking the memory of the teachings in a degree of intelligibility equivalent to that of those who already posses it. Another factor which becomes obvious concerns the generation of students and professors which I met since 1963 at the university of Montreal. This new generation of students seemed to want to be distinguished from the others through a refuse of taking advantage out of the diploma become immobilized in a some sort of idling intellectual torpor, through a refuse of using it as a social sanction which would prevent them from thinking their own thoughts. A third factor, more distant, used to caught my attention. What distinguishes the most the 19th century of Canadian philosophy - and North-American, as well - from the 20th century is that the interest, the focus of the philosophers of the 19th century was the development or the coverage of an inherited position, already assumed rather than the manifestation or the explanation of the choice of this position. (6) There was little, if any, openness and little, if any, possible choices. Therefore, little, if any, selection. Generally speaking, before 1940, ideal and practical was that the philosophy teacher would not choose to teach but he was chosen. He would respond to the call; he would receive his letter of obedience; he would obey. And where there is too much obedience, there is a little bit of hypocrisy. Of course, there are (there were) exceptions from the part of clerics and, moreover, from the part of the seculars. In my humble opinion, the serious research (the one which is useful, productive, non-repetitive) in the history of the Canadian philosophy and the philosophy of Quebec, should be oriented towards those who are exceptions; and this should be valid not only inside but also outside of the contemporary philosophical institutions. Thus, I have ruled out, from the beginning of the game, the philosophical contribution of the "catholic" (universal) philosophers for a precise and remarkable reason: these Canadian philosophers, as well as those in Quebec, were in a stronger contact with the catholic thought than with the thought of their neighbors, their "separate brothers"!! It is about, on the one hand, the subordination of the philosophy and literature in general to religion and theology and, on the other hand, the insubordination. It is was recognized, for a long time already, that with the Protestantism it was introduced the spirit of free research which made the partitions fall and used the thinker not to absolutely isolate the faith but to harmonize it with the entirety of his knowledge. In these conditions, philosophy has close relationships with theology or religion and this is the motive for which in the case of these thinkers, it is a difficult task to tell apart one from the other. The problems dealing with God and Jesus Christ are on the same level with the other important issues. But in the catholic countries (like France, like Quebec or the catholic America) religion was too much separated from the common life and moral exhortation, too much reserved for the priests. But, the fact that thinkers, pretty much anywhere, would turn their attention towards Christian or catholic philosophy (the Thomism in particular) is that they thought they can find this way objective truths, independent of subjective and personal impressions and experiences. Here are some of these exceptions and some of the possible themes. J.B Meilleur; Isaac Desaulniers; F.X.Trudel; Francois Hertel (Rodolphe Dube); Gerard Petit, c.s.c (Gilmar); Mgr Lafleche, Father Alexis Pelletier (Georges St-Aime); the social insertion of Father Stanislas Lortie and the Society...of Adjutor Rivard (Bulletin du Parler... , vol. XI, 1923, p.7-9); the Laurendeaus (Andre and the Dr.); Jean Tertreau (Maxime Rex); Robert Elie; Jean-Jules Richard, Huber Aquin, etc. As examples: the texts of Borduas..., "I fight against the influence of Gilson...,"; the Lettre dogmatiques of the Laprairie parish, Jean-Baptiste-Boucher-Belleville, dedicated to Mgr. J.-O.Plessis and dated 1801-13, which, instead of being sent to publisher by Mgr. Plessis took the road to Archives; the thesis of F.A.H La Rue presented and held on the 15th on 1859 at Laval: Du Suicide; Emil Chevalier and his novel L'Enfer et le Paradis de l'autre monde, 1866; the role and the significance of the Alliance Francaise, of the Societe Royale du Canada and of Credit Franco-Canadien; and for other reasons, the role of the cardinal Villeneuve and the history of Gaumisme in French Canada or the philosophy at the Valleyfield college which the new Dictionaire...of Pere Le Jeune, o.m.i.(7) describes as follows: Seminary "having as goal the teaching of the divine and human letters to young people destined to ecclesiastic positions and not only, fit to liberal positions". [our italics]. This college, as typical as others, founded in 1893, sheltered in 1896, after Le Jeune, "the pupils of the seminary, of the commercial course and of the elementary course": the benediction took place on the 22nd of April 1897 and it was presided by the extraordinary apostolic delegate Mgr. Merry del Val. The devise of the college is his own: Suprema Manus Validior. It is placed under the word of Saint-Thomas Aquinas". Words!
Finally, if there were so many serious students formed in the United States because they do research and they use the explications of first degree in scientific (interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary) publications, in the so called academic or "difficult" literature, we should get back to the role of the professor. I would easily concede that the studying public should not be alone in this attempt; the professors also have to be involved. There, as well as here, is the problem of the book, of the text and that of the communication between the author and the public, between any researcher and the community of researchers, between the normal or abnormal recognition of any research or teaching. [See appendix 3]. 
It should be well apprehended or well understood that, until proved otherwise, the universitarian institution which concerns us here signifies (and therefore must represent or manifest): the conservation, the transmission and the increasing of consciousness and knowledge, which refers to teaching, research and service to the community and society. (8)
Once again: there is no (or almost no...) reading done in Quebec. This is what dissembles here in the last decade the immense production and reproduction of the literary and philosophical texts. It is a constant thing: it is much more easily to write than to read especially if there is no (or almost no...) re-reading. Let us try again to put the inattentive good faith back on the good track. Which are the historical documents that concern us? I am respectfully lining them up and annotating them. They are more than milestones. This documents are image-carriers. They represent and talk. Let us re-read them with the same attention that two people in love have when reading the love letters they exchange. The dates, the punctuation, the flavor of the sentences, the weight of the locution, the nuances of the words, the ambiguous passages, the insinuations, the general perspective and the details, the lines and the borders, the text and the context...The re-reading of philosophy rather than that of the philosopher-person, of the patriot rather than that of the party member. National texts, rather than nationalist texts. [See appendix 4]


Notes:

1. The first version of this text was offered to the Philosophy Society of Montreal with the occasion of its reunion on the 16th of November 1977. As a reminder, this society was founded in 1924; it is affiliated to the ACFAS in 1932-34 and started being active again towards 1934.
2. Moreover, another real problem should be highlighted: the credibility itself of the historical text or that what a text can reveal without actually saying it (naïve unconsciousness, colonialism, lack of logic, etc.) in the manner of .... Jean Le Moyne, Cite Libre, 19 Jan. 1958, p.12 - 5, p.12:
"I have never frequented the university of Montreal and, undoubtedly, a stranger as myself was invited on purpose in order to tell what do I think of the faculties of philosophy and theology, how do I perceive their place. I hope that my doubts and my questions will raise to their expectations. 
As far as my own concern goes, I have to confess that I was not sure about the existence of our University while I know, with all the desirable certitude for me, the existence of other universities (the one in Paris, for example, or Harvard) which I also did not frequent. things were thought down there which integrated in the whole of my knowledge, according to my desires, perseverance and capacity. Thus, these universities from far away are not foreign to myself - through spirit, they are as intimate as any other source of life. If I doubt the existence of our university, I doubt, in the same time, that certain things do not occur, meaning they are not lived, nor thought about, nor said, nor written. Everything partaking to spirit is spread around, not necessary by earthquakes, storms and murmures of the Horeb , but also through the discrete shock of a certain revelation or by the rumor of the awaken, fed and sustained curiosity. The spirit is uncontrollable and its silence risks to be nothing else but its absence." 
3. Philosophy in Quebec. Bellarmin, 1976, p.23. [Anonymous Collective, 'lanced' probably anonymously as well on the 21 of Oct.; no index, no record of the printing house, circulation or price]. From my part, I corrected and returned the paginated extracts towards 20 May '76without being able to insert the revisions accumulated since the 'expedite' presentation at the "Trois Rivieres", on the 1st March 1975. I beg the reader of Philosophie au Quebec to insert here the following: a) thanks to the colleague Luc Brisson who was kind enough to read and point out questions about my text, b) the case of "Chateau etoile - Bourdas" was exposed in the SEM, vol. 1, number 3, May - June 1975, p. 57-9. Here, done!
4. In the 1937 collective of Les Sciences sociales en France: enseignement et recherche, M. Bougle expressed his regrets that in France at that time there was no central organism of Sociology, which could be encountered in other countries, especially in the United States. Of course, there was an "Institute francais de Sociologie", founded by Marcel Mauss, but this institute was actually more of a savant society analogue to an academy, i.e. a group of savants reunited periodically in order to listen to a lecture followed by discussions. But, in 1946, under the supervision of Georges Gurvitch, then a sociology professor at the university of Strasbourg, a Centre d'etudes socioloques was created in Paris, creation due to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) which was already existing. At any rate, there existed together, three chairs of sociology in the french universities: Sorbonne, Strasbourg and Bordeaux. In Canada and in Quebec, we also have academies: The Royal Society of Canada, The ACFAS, Canadian Academy of Saint-Thomas Aquinas; and social institutions: The Popular Social School, l'Oeuvre des Tracts, The Social Weeks (1920-) or "The Circle of Communal Study" of Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue, (see the 22nd Annual Report: L'Ordre nouveau vs l'ancien systeme de l'exploitation, Gardenvale, 1934, pp. 244). 
5. In the same token, see the Letters in Canada 1938, edited by A.S.P. Woodhouse (Reprinted from the University of Toronto, vol. VIII, nos 3 and 4, April and July, 1939): "French-Canadian Letters" by Felix Walter (p.478 - 90) and, moreover, "Lists of Publications French-Canadian": "Philosophy and General Science" p. 505 - 06. Today, it should be taken into account the recent rapport of the comissaire enqueteur Thomas Symons, To Know Ourselves (French version: Se connaitre, Rapport of the commission on Canadian studies, 2 vol, Ottawa, 1975).
6. Cf. Henry D.Aiken, The Age of Ideology, N.Y., The New American Library, 1956, P.13-26.
7. Dictionaire general de biographie, histoire, litterature, agriculture...du Canada, Canada, Universite d'Ottawa, 1931, second volume, p. 751.
8. For the general picture it should be read "L'Ecole sous le regime francais", L'enseignement francais au Canada (tome I: Dans le Quebec, p.9-36) by Lionel Groulx (Mtl, Albert Levesque, 1931) and for the misery of education after 1760: p.37-58; L'Instruction au Canada sous le regime francais (1653-1760) by Auguste Gosselin (Quebec, Laflamme & Proulx, 1911).

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Historical Documentation (sources)

A. Mgr L.-A.Paquet (1859-1942): "Coup d'oeil sur l'histoire de l'enseignement de la philosophie traditionelle au Canada", MSCR (3e serie), XI, 1917, p.37-60. Resumed and augmented in his Melanges canadiens (Quebec, 1918), p.141-207; Paquet is the one informing us that "the major part of this study was presented to the Royal Society in may 1917" (p.141, n.1)

This final text is reproduced in Lamonde (Historiographie..., p.51-92) with the following particularities: continuous infra-paginal notes, the quotations clearly distinguished in Paquet's text are not generally distinguishable in Lamonde (p.55 for the latter and p.144-5 for Paquet; p.66 and 163, p.77 and 181; p86 and 196 where the quotation is badly reproduced). Moreover, in Lamonde, the reader finds no critical reaction, for example, when Paquet, talking about Demers treatise (p.160-62) (1), keeps his calm and maintains an eloquent silence with regard to this enclosing note of the manual but wrote about the philosophie de Lyon:
"It happened, because of an absolutely involuntary mistake, that this abrege des preuves of the revealed religion was not yet revised except in a rather superficial fashion, since the first page was printed; it was only by correcting it, the editors realized that this work was far from being as perfect as they imagined at the beginning when they found it added as an appendix at the end of the Cours elementaire de Pilosophie, a l'usage des Colleges, printed in Lyon in 1823. Since time did not permit it to redo it or to substitute it with something else, the editors, in order to maintain their promise to the subscribers of the philosophy course which was on the way to being published, were contended to just make the grammar mistakes disappear, as well as those expressions which could be regarded as too loose or vitiated and a number of propositions less intelligible. This was all that they could do when correcting the preuves. They went to the extent of taking pride in their decision and thinking that the subscribers would appreciate the fact that they printed this abridged version, as it was, instead of omitting it because they did not have something better. "
For us, today, it is enough to note that Paquet's text in his time, is only concerned with the issue of teaching, it treats only the way manuals were done not without being aware of the works of his contemporaries (p.180-207 or p.76-106), he recognizes that his 'separated brothers' (freres separes) were having a definite manner of expression (Queen's Quarterly), appreciating his colleagues and especially those from the university of Ottawa who were 'always distinguishable through a sincere cult for the doctrinesof Saint Thomas' (p.178 or p.75). Paquet is perhaps wrong (p.181 or p.75) when he affirms that Hickey is (was) 'Cistercien' since he (Hickey) was an Augustinian. (O.S.A.) . 




B. Antonin Papillon, o.p., : "Pour l'Histoire du thomisme au Canda", Revue Dominicaine (Dominican Convent, Saint-Hyacinthe), XXXIII, Oct 1972, p.538-46
Lamonde (Historiographie..., p.31) sees in this 8 page text ("so very well documented", as he truthfully says) a resuming of Paquet's work (which is impossible) and too much emphasized on the Thomism of Desaulniers from "St-Hyacinthe where the Dominicans established" - (it is difficult to see this relation in time since the Dominicans arrived there around 1874; moreover, should not we take into account Papillon's affirmations in the text (p.542) that the establishment of the Dominican studies at St-Hyacinthe begun around 1889 and that Desaulniers himself died on the 22nd April 1868?)
In the short analysis of the work of professor Isaac Le Sieur Desaulniers we think it is necessary to underline the fact that Papillion stressed four elements: "teaching the pupils" (incontestable); French translation of the most of the Summa Theologia (contestable); conferences at the Medical Institute in Montreal on the philosophy of Saint-Thomas (incontestable) and the dependence on the Philosophie of the old philosopher Goudin (9) (incontestable) in order to claim " here is the work of one of our priests, 43 years before the Aeterni Patris Encyclica, in 1879 (incontestable but it was the same anywhere). 
Lamonde the historian or the historiographer believes that, as far as he is concerned (p.31), "father Papillion's conclusions are, at least, hazardous"... or that he only offers "audacious affirmations". But it seems that, in fact, Lamonde is much more hazardous and audacious forgetting to attention us that he writes between Papillion's lines: 
Lamonde (p.31) - "...how much our renewed Thomism affirms itself both complete and avant la date when compared to the Belgian, French, Italian or other achievements". 
Papillion (p.545) - "...it seems that we can go farther, fearing no one, when we see that our renewed Thomism affirms itself both complete and avant la date when compared to the Belgian, French, Italian or other achievements"!



C. Maurice Roy, "Pour l'histoire du thommisme au Canada", Essais et Bilans, Dominican College, Ottawa, 1935, p.17-28.

D. W.Wilfrid Senecal, c.v.s. : "L'Enseignement de la philosophie dans nos colleges Classiques", Essays et Bilans, 1935, p.95-103.

E. Hermas Bastien (1896-1977): L'Enseignment de la philosophie, I, Au Canada Francais, Montreal, Ed. Albert Levesque, 1936. $1.00 [Pp.222 with appendixes A: Personnel, Philo., Ottawa et Statistiques; B. Personnel, Laval; C. Personnel et Statistiques, Universite de Montreal; D: Inst. Etudes Medievales, Ottawa; E: Status de l'Academie Canadienne Saint Thomas d'Aquin; F.Bibliographie du R.P.Ephrem Longpre, o.f.m.; G: Rapports des Semaines Sociales du Canada depuis 1920; H: Bilan de "notre production philosophique" (p.201-15) with Index of names (p.217-20) and Table (p.221-2)].

F. Stanley French: "Considerations sur l'histoire et l'esprit de la philosophie au Canada francais", Cite libre, XVth year, no 68, June-July 1964, p.20-6. [Reproduced in Lamonde, Historiographie..., p.147-63].

G. Jacques Brault: "Pour une philosophie quebecoise', Parti Pris, vol. 2, no 7, March 1965, p.9-16. [Reproduced in Lamonde, Historiographie..., p.171-81].

H. Venant Cauchy: "Philosophy in French Canada: Its Past and Its Future", The Dalhousie Review, vol. 48, no 3, 1968, p.384-401. [A reduced and revised version of a paper presented at a conference with the occasion of 100 years since the foundation of the Confederation, conference held at Dalhousie University in Nov 1967].

I. Normand Lacharite: "L'enseignement de la philosophie au Canada francais de 1968 a 1970", Revue de l'Enseignement philosophique, 20th year, no 6, August-Sept 1970, p.34-9. [Lamonde points to this text ( Historiographie...) but with a wrong pagination].

J. Yvan Lamonde: Historiographie de la philosophie au Quebec (1853-1970) [1971], Hurtubise HMH, 1972 [Pp.241 with index and introduction by Lamonde (p.21-48): "Historiographie de la philosophie au Quebec" and "L'Historiographie philosophique au Canada francais"].

K. Louis-Marie Regis, o.p.: "La philosophie au Canada Francais", Communaute chretienne, vol. 12, no70 (July-August 1973), p.261-70.

L. Jean-Paul Brodeur: "Quelques notes critiques sur la philosophie quebecoise", La philosophie et les savoirs [Collective, edited by R.Nadeau and J-P. Brodeur], Montreal, Bellarmin, 1975, p.237-73. [reviewed by Yvan Lamonde, La Presse, 10 April, 1976, D10: "Philosophie et societe au Quebec"].

M. Ceslas-Marie Forest, o.p. (1885-1970), [Arthur Forest as a civil]: "Les Debuts de la philosophie universitaire a Montreal. Les Memoires du Doyen Ceslas Forest, o.p. (1885-1970)" by Yvan Lamonde and Benoit Lacroix, Philosophiques, vol.III, no 1, April, 1976, p.55-79.

 

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CONCLUSION

We should conclude. We think we should be able to constitute with the historical documents presented here the lexicon of topics which are important to us and which return us to our preliminary space and time through an accelerated retrospective. A clear and precise lexicon where the repetitions cannot be found in a infinite dispersion or deterioration. This would be our technical and historical French-Quebecois dictionary, individual and collective; the locutions would be signed by our national authors, according to their possibilities. Philosophy and history of philosophy. Philosophical production and philosophical teaching. First degree communication or repetition. Historical foundation. Regularity. Cleric and secular. Inheritance and choice. Read and write. Traditional philosophy and Thomism. Dominicans and St. Thomas. Franciscans and Duns Scotus. Canada and Quebec. Canadian and French-Quebec. Catholics and "separated brothers". O.M.I, S.J., O.P., Mgr., the Abby, Father, teacher. C.S.V., Mother, Thomist Society, Philosophy Society, University, Faculty, College, Studium Generale, M.S.R.C., French and English regime, role, culture, Quebec-French-American philosophy, history, historiography, Encyclic, Antoine Goudin, o.p., Charles Jourdain, past, future, library, Gerard Petit, c.s.c. or Gilmar or Gerard Chevalier, Jean Tetreau, Ephrem Longpre, o.f.m., Victorin Doucet o.f.m., Hermas Bastien or Rocan-Etienne Robin - , manual, treatise, essay, memory, thesis, APPEC, ACP, SPQ, etc. without forgetting Pelletier and Les Idees, historical judgment, topic, critique, verbalism, credit, gravitation of humans, ideas (ICAP, Cite libre, Parti pris, Levesque o.p.), JFC, Pax Romana, Gerard Robitaille, J.-R.Major (1926-75), Henry Jones, the Abby Otis, Pierre Vadeboncoeur, Robert Elie, Jaques Lavigne, work, influence, promotion, source, Canadian College at Rome, Roman College in Canada, Center of Canadian Intellectuals or "Carrefour", Hertel and Rodolphe Dube (s.j.) or Vers la Sagesse: Aristotelian episode in 3 tables, represented by the Immaculate Conception in 1931 and then at Gaspe. Louis Lanquetot and Jacques Cousineau (s.j.) or Comment survivre S.Thomas (thesis crowned with the Prix d'Action intellectuelle in 1934). Etienne Gilson, Philosophie et incarnation selon Saint Augustin, Montreal, I.E.M., 1947, 'the first Canadian book by Gilson' - the Revue Dominicaine (Jan 1948, p.52). Not to forget Charles de Koninck, De la Primaute du Bien Commun...(Ed. de l'Universite Laval - editions Fides, 1943), dedicated to the king Leopold III. And as many studies on the evolution of the historical and philosophical thought in Quebec.


"A strange thing; it was Etienne Gilson, during a conference on the medieval thought, who would reveal, towards 1929, claming that he does not have knowledge of any other savant more up to date with regard to the Middle Ages but Father Longpre. Gilson thought that doing this he will make a compliment and he would stimulate our pride. In reality, he caused a revelation. Probably if we can count so many celebrities in the field of sciences and philosophy, we can be forgiven for not knowing all of them."

(Hermas Bastien, Ces ecrivains qui nous habitent, Montreal, Beauchemin, 1969, p.158). (Since then, as it should have been done sooner, a Memorial Doucet-Longpre was published in Quebec in 1966 in the Editions de la revue Culture (p X + 207 with name index and content).

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Appendix 1


M.Dufrenne, "Plaidoyer pour la liberte de l'enseignement philosophique", Esprit, 16th year, no 3, March, 1974, p.414-27)
P.426
"But finally, the office of philosophical teaching is indifferent: it should form the spirits through the free exercise of reflection. This is why the state does not need to interfere except only for allowing the freedom of this liberty and for rigorously preventing the excess or the perversions which it can bring to the public order. It is possible that one would reproach me that I subordinate the sovereignty of the state to the liberty of the teacher. But I think I have shown that the destiny of the philosophy is tied with this liberty and that the teacher must enjoy it not only for himself but also in the interest of his pupils and the discipline he is teaching. 
Moreover, here, the state has no competence because it is about preserving the values of culture and culture is that which is made by the nation, not by the state. The nation alone can open horizons for culture but it does it without constraining it simply because it produces it. Thus, without having the state imposing an ideology, there is a French philosophy, even when French philosophers are pupils of German schools! But this philosophy is only real and relevant through the proliferation and confrontation of multiple doctrine and it is the thing which they have in common. The veritable culture is poli-phonical; its harmony itself steams from the number and the disonace of the unfolding voices. Plurality is not a symptom of weakness or incoherence- it is the sign of health and force. Culture imposes changes, the commerce of ideas, the conflict of systems. Philosophy exists only through the constant renewal of the problems and the radical questioning; it can never have an official, imposed credo. This is why, realizing the impact of its power in promoting a culture and its mission to defend it, the nation must consent to the variegation of the philosophical teaching and respect the master (the teacher) who is its condition". 
P.427:
"If we think that philosophy remains an important piece in the intellectual shaping and the national culture and if we agree not to chock it then, it must be allowed to each philosopher to be himself and to each philosophy teacher to teach following the rules of his own method. There is a risk here, maybe. For the individual, as well as for the nation. But the risk is the soul of life as well as liberty is the soul of philosophy".

Appendix 2

At the University of Montreal Activites philosophiques 1945-1946, Edition Le Centre de Psychologie et de Pedagogie, 1946"Vingt-Cinq ans de philosophie a l'Universite de Montreal" par Ceslas-M. Forest, o.p., p.9-29.
: P: 10
"Or, in 1920, there was no philosophical environment in French Canada. The faculty of philosophy at Laval was organized in 1926 and the one in Ottawa, in 1931. The Institute of Medieval Studies was founded in 1930. Thus, the philosophical teaching at the university level was still yet to be established. It was a formidable task and we needed the proper means. But, if we exclude the inexpensive right of the University to offer degrees, there was nothing else that could have been offered."
"But the most serious obstacle which we have to face was the lack of philosophical works. Carlyle said once that a true university is a collection of books. We can say that, for a faculty as ours, a library is as necessary as a laboratory for the Physics or Chemistry institutes. Moreover, philosophy was one of the oldest disciplines, the one which, undoubtedly, gave birth, during time, to the most abundant literature, a library, not a complete one, but a sufficient one for the scientific work, it is something which cannot even be compared to the libraries of Enfants de Marie of our parishes. This might seem to be inconceivable to our grandsons, but we have organized the faculty of philosophy without having a single volume to put at the disposition of the teachers or students. And, with difficulties we managed to gather some of them thanks to the hundred of dollars that the university concedes us each year, since the Saint Sulpice Library, where we were logging them, closed its doors. They should still be inaccessible till 1942 and during this period of time, the books belonging to the professors will begin to circulate and this, probably would be fatal so a great number of them."

P:13
"In the summer of 1932, being a delegate to the general Chapter of our Order, I was charged to deliver to Rome the rules of the University of Laval and those of the University of Montreal. During the long meetings with the secretary of S.C. of Studies, Mgr Ruffini, today S.E. Cardinal Ruffini, I was able to explain the difficulties in the middle of which our faculty developed and the hopes we have for it in the near future. These hopes were tied, mostly with the building of the place in the mountains which, started in 1928, should be ready soon. I expressed my certitude that the status of our faculty would be approved. In fact, this approval should have reached us in 1936.
I did not stressed our new organization of studies. Generally speaking is the same one that we conserved over the years. The framework given to us from Rome was never modified. It was left for us only to get closer and closer each year to the program which was inserted there. 
Henceforth, a teacher could only occupy a single chair at a time. This would be a way to allow him, while specializing, to go deeper in the study of the discipline he is supposed to teach."

Appendix 3

The Texts from Quebec
With regard to the problem of the texts from Quebec, I have stated my position in Phi Zero (a student's philosophical journal at the University of Montreal, vol 4, no1, Nov 1975, p.41 - 60) trying to avoid the "simplest" or divergent considerations thus recently confined by the professor Laurent Giroux, a propos to the publications of the thesis of Pierre Bertrand (L'Oubli, revolution ou mort de l'histoire, Paris, P.U.F., 1975), in Dialogue (vol XV, no3, Sept 1976, p.521-5): "That this little book was published by P.U.F., is certainly, a testimony in its favor" (p.515); "one of the better works, if not the best work which was written in philosophy in Quebec" (p.515)!
Another kind of rationale to be denounced (in this bazaar of collective or cultural images): "there is, in the production of all the countries a small number of works to be consulted with regard to philosophy, this discipline is not likely to accept this kind of publication". (Real Bosa, p.13, Les Ouvrages de reference du Quebec, Bibliotheque Nationale - Ministere des Affaires culturelles du Quebec, 1969). Cf. my revue: "Un livre: Reflet de culture ou culture du relfet" in Critere, no 1, Feb 1970, p. 106-17 or in its integral version: Revue d'Histoire de l'Amerique francaise, vol XXIII, no4, March 1970, p.637-45.

Appendix 4

The Nationality and the Philosophies
From the literature on "nationality and philosophies" in the XIX-th century, we can extract and read with profit:
(a) this beginning of the Hegel's Course of history of philosophy in Heidelberg in 1816:
"We can see that in other countries of Europe, where the sciences are cultivated with zeal and authority, philosophy preserved only its name; any memory of it, even the idea itself perished and it does not exist except in the German nation. We have received from nature the mission of being the preservers of this sacred fire, as Eumolpides of Athens was confined the conservation of the Mysteries of Eleusis; as, to the inhabitants of Samothrace, was given a much more elevated and pure cult, the same as, even before that, the universal spirit has given to the Jewish people the consciousness that it depends on itself that it will become renewed. (Vorlessungen uber die Geschichte der Philosophie, t.1, p.4)"
(b) Jugement de m. De Schelling sur la Philosophie de M.Cousin; translated from German and preceded by an Essai sur la Nationalite des Philosophies; by J.Willm, inspector of the Academy of Strasbourg. Paris and Strasbourg, to P.G. Levrault, 1835. [An important piece in which the German method is compared to the French method; French philosophy (Victor Cousin being at that time the latest expression of progress in theoretical French philosophy) is analyzed following the views of German philosophy; Schelling recognizing that "the Germans had for such a long time the philosophy only among them that their language and their speculations become different from the thought and the language universally intelligible. Moreover, after some vain efforts to spread Kant's ideas outside Germany, they renounced to make themselves intelligible to other nations and thus they regard themselves as the people chosen for philosophy". (p. 2 and 3)]
(c) L. Lafleche, Quelques considerations sur les rapports de la societe civile avec la religion et la famille, Montreal, Eusebe Senecal, 1866. [Reproduced from the Journal des Trois Rivieres]: "nationality", "popular sovereignty", p. 17 ss; "fatherland", p.27 ss and p. 80 ss.
(d) P. Vergnaud, L'Idee de la nationalite et de la libre disposition des peuples dans ses rapports avec l'idee de l'etat, P., Domat - Montchrestien, U. of Paris, 1955.
(e) Controversy between J.-M. Domenach and Victor Leduc in Esprit, (1955, no 7) on the "national" culture as form and "socialist" as content, the autonomy being a form; on "nations" and "nationalisms". 
(f) Christian consciousness and the nationalisms (Semain des Intellectuels Catholiques, 1985), P.,Pierre Horray, 1959. [Olivier Lacombe, p.51-6, evokes the given of the language with regard to terms as nationalism, nationalist, nationality, nation, fatherland and patriot all of them terms which entered very late in the French language (1798), (1874), (1812), (1750), except the word nation which dates from the 13th century].
(g) Christine Alix, Le Saint-Siege et les nationalismes en Europe, introduction by G. Le Bras, P. Sirey, 1960
(h) Robert Hebert, "Pensee quebecoise et plaisir de la difference", Breches, 3, 1974, p.31-9. In the Conclusion:
"The Quebecan way of thinking is rather lively. And already works (ethnographic and socio-historiographic researches, cultural praxis and literary production, lively culture and work of politisation ) as pleasure of the difference. Pleasure? Rather anxiousness, knowledge and courage of the difference. The thinking in Quebec effaces the colonial identity-difference complex, thinking to the end its difference as difference - to the point where it signifies its own global process. Global translation itself of a third culture, temperament tied up with a third rationale, it brings about a thinking style which does not forget neither the conditions of its roots nor the critical perspectives of its value-work."
(i) Andre Laurendeau, Notre Nationalisme, (printed at "Devoir", Montreal, Oct 1935) in the collection "Tracts Jeune-Canada", no 5, 52 pp. 
(j) Charles murin, "Some Reflections on the Concept of a 'National ' Philosophy", Slovakia in the 19th and 20th centuries, ad. by J.M. Kirchbaum, Toronto, The Slovak World Congress, 1973, p. 40-58.
(k) Gerald Fortin, "Le Nationalisme Canadien-Francais et les classes sociales", Revue d'Histoire de l'Amerique francaise, vol 22, no 4, (March, 1969), p.525-35.
(l) Fernand Ouellet, "Nationalisme Canadien-Francais et laicisme au XIXe siecle", Recherches Sociographiques, 4, 1963, p.47-70.
(m) Gilles Boulet, Nationalisme et separatisme, Trois-Rivieres, Ed. du Soc, 1962.
(n) Maurice Vaussard, Enquete sur le nationalisme, Paris, Spes, [1924], [423 pp.] ; with the "Canadian" reply of M. Antonio Perault (p. 214-23).
(o) V.Germain, La societe des nations, Etude doctrinale, Quebec [thesis dedicated to the masters of the "College Angelique" in Rome], Action Sociale , 1923 [214pp.] which would demand to be compared with regard to the lexical field, to the evolution of ideas and Thomist sources at work in Jean-Jacques Termblay, Patriotisme et Nationalisme, Ottawa, Ed. de l'U., 1940, 235 pp., [thesis dedicated to the Canadian youth].
(p) Marc Chabot, "Nationalisme", La Pensee quebecoise de 1900 a 1950..., U.Q.A.M. and U.Q.T.R., 1975, p.44-52.

Appendix 5

Antoine Goudin and P.C. Roux-Lavergne
It is amazing how little Paquet, Papillon, Bastien, French or Lamonde (Histoiographie..., p.69, 121, 122, 153) mention Antoin Goudin, o.p., and his contribution to the transformation of the teaching of Isaac Desaulniers as well as to the rebirth of the Thomistic apostolat in Europe. 
Although the Quetif-Echard (Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum...) signalizes since 1719 the work of Goudin (born at Limonges in 1639 and dead in 1695) and its importance. Since the beginning of the century, the DTC (p.1509) takes note of the history of the numerous editions of his treatise Philosophia juxta inconcussa tutissimaque divi Thomae dogmata: the first in Lyon in 1671; then, corrected and augmented by the author in Paris, in 1674, in Bologna, in 1680, in Cologne, in 1681, in Paris, in 1692; and then Cologne, 1724, 1726, 1764 and, finally, what interests us, an edition under the supervision of Pierre-Celestin Roux-Lavergne (born in 1802 in Paris) - 4 tomes, between 1850-51, when the latter published also De la Philosophie de l'histoire (1850). In 1856, Roux-Lavergne will put together a Compendium of the Philosophia juxta.
A quick note- Roux-Lavergne was a close friend of the physician-philosopher Philippe-J. Benjamin Buchez (1796 - 1865), a former adept of Saint-Simon, returned to Catholicism thanks to the reading of Lamennais. Among the debates on the goal and the political future of Catholicism (1834) and on the freedom of teaching (1840-1850), Roux-Lavergne founded a circle of Thomistic studies. Buchez published in Paris, among other things, from 1831 to 1838, the philosophical journal - L'European, an organ of the neo-Catholic system called Buchesism: renewal of the society and sciences through the application of Catholicism. For additional information see the different editions of Dictionnaire universel des contemporaines (4e, Hachette, 1870) by the philosopher-lawyer G. Vapereau.
Moreover, we should note the contribution of Father Lacordaire, o.p. (1802-61) in the overturning of the Lamennaisian impasse especially when he makes his mea culpa with regard to religion and politics. This is the meaning of the two booklets that Lacordaire published under the titles Considerations sur le systeme philosophique de M. de Lamennais (1834) and Lettre sur le saint-siege (written in 1836 and published in 1838). 
Anyway, when it comes to the details as well as to the general picture of the problem of the blossom of a Catholic "science" or thought, the patience, ingenuity, impartiality and diligent study of J.-B.Duroselle cannot be avoided: Les Debuts du Catholicisme social en France (1822-1870), P., P.U.F., 1951, (XII, 787, pp.) And this is to realize that no other expression of the Verb of the Church touched more deeply the popular consciousness as the theme of the sky, reward of the poor ones...
This theme soared with the occasion of a sermon of the Abby of Boismont, academic, on the 13th March 1782. This fatal invention (re-discussed in the Mandements of the Bishops) of an apologetic without faith should not be confused with the old theme of the expiation of sins through the rough rural labor, so dear to the heads of the vicarages of the old days.

Appendix 6

Jourdain - THOMISM - Desaulniers and the others
It must be noted that, in certain environments, since longtime ago, thinkers tried to maintain a scientific alliance between religion and philosophy. In France, towards 1830, Charles Jourdain was one of this thinkers. Born in 1817, son of the orientalist Amable Jourdain, known for his researches on the translations of Aristotle, Charles Jourdain published in 1838 a Dissertation sur l'etat de la philosophie naturelle en Occident et principalement en France pendant la premiere moitie du XIIe siecle , a philosophy course in 1848, and an important work on La Philosophie de Saint Thomas, was crowned in 1856-7 by the Academy of moral sciences. This work was published, in two tomes, in 1859: La Philosophie de Saint Thomas , P., Hachette, 1858 and (reprinted in 1963 under my supervision at the Wm. C.Brown Reprint library). Beside his Histoire de l'Universite de Paris et de l'Universite de Toulouse, Mr. Jourdain edited Oeuvres philosophiques by Arnauld (1843) and Nicole (1848) and published the second tome of the works of Abelard (1859) (Cousin being the one who published the first tome). Moreover, he was the head (in its first year of apparition 1842-3) the Revue de l'instruction publique and he had an important part in the preparation of the law of 15 March 1850, on the liberty of teaching after occupying several chairs of philosophy, most important the one in Paris, at the College Stanislas. 
Thanks to the Catalogue Alphabetique de la Bibliotheque du Parlement: comprenant l'Index des catalogues methodiques publies en 1857 et 1858, et des livres ajoutes a la Bibliotheque depuis cette epoque jusqu'au 1er mars 1862 (Quebec, Hunter, Rose et Cie, 1862, pp.313), we can verify and affirm the presence (diffusion and accessibility) in Quebec of two works of Jourdain (the two tomes of La philosophie de Saint Thomas and Le Budget de l'instruction publique et des establissements scientifique et litteraire, the latter one being published in 1857!) Moreover, this catalogue (p.285) signalizes the presence in Quebec (17 years before, at least, of the Aeterni Patris) of the Chaine d'or of Thomas Aquinas and "La somme catolique" as well as the presence of a documentation on the "scolastic philosophy" (p.230) and "Catholic philosophy", and the Revue des Deux-Mondes.
But there is more, if we get out of the too little beaten path. In the Discours of Mr. Isaac Desaulniers (at the Parochial Church of Montreal on the 25th Nov 1860 and at the Saint-Hyacinthe Cathedral on the 9th Dec 1860), priest and the philosophy professor at the Saint-Hyacinthe, talking about the "sovereignty of the people", stressed on the definition of law as it was presented by the "angelic doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas" (p.55 of Ceremonies Funebres dans les Eglises cathedrales du Bas-Canada, en l'honneur des glorioux Defenseurs du St. Siege tombes en resistant a l'invasion Piemontaise, en septembre 1860, Avec les Discours Prononces a cette occasion par M. Louis Lafleche, v.-g., superieur du Seminaire de Nicolet et par M. Isaac Desaulniers, ptre, membre du College de St-Hyacinthe, professeur de philosophie au meme college et ancien superior, Trois-Rivieres, Callixte Levasseur, Typographe, 1861). And it is my hypothesis that those who would like to empty the question of the "Thomism" of Desaulniers in Quebec (1811-1867) should take into account the Eloge de Messire I.S. Le Sieur Desaulniers (St. Hyacinthe, Imp. aux bureaux du Courrier de St-Hyacinthe, 1868) and this controllable biographical note:
"It must be said that Mr. Desaulniers was not part of those who sustained the polemic, who had been the echo at the time, in favor of the system classified as such. At the time of this public discussion, he was not at St-Hyacinthe, and at the same period as well, he gave up his Lamennaisian ideas. In order to fortify his studies and to apprehend English language, he went to the philosophy course at the Jesuit College in Georgetown. There he found instructed teachers who studied at Rome, and have heard the well known P. Rosaven (who wrote a remarkable book on that matter) refuting Lamennais's system. They did not go through trouble for setting their intelligent pupil strait on this issue. And he conserved a profound respect for his teachers in Georgetown. Numerous times, he brought up their memory at St-Hyacinthe where the names of the Reverend Father Mulledy, Djerozinski, Ryder, Grace are very well known." (p.18)
In the light of all this it looks (once and for all, in and for North America) as if the institutional Thomism (before the Encyclic) was not firstly implanted in Georgetown (Washington D.C. , a hierarchical town par excellence) and then made its way to Quebec thanks to Isaac Desaulniers who returns to St-Hyacinthe in the summer of 1834 (23 years old) and retakes his chair of philosophy in 1838 after his ordination. Having this hypothesis at our disposition, we should probably be able to give a definite solution to several ambiguities which occur and reoccur because, at this time, the historians revolving around the Desaulniers problem (Lamonde, Beauregard, Bastien, Roy, Paquet) did not find enough to appeal to the simple math. Number and number, read and read, used to say Gertrude Stein. Here, to see and convince!
In a text from 1941-2 (reproduced in Historiographie..., p.115-30, in 1972 without commentaries), Lucien Beauregard, ptre, affirms (p.116) that Desaulniers 
"After brilliant studies at the Nicolet seminary, took the cassock on the first of September 1829. Going to the seminary, he was, in the same time, professor at the St-Hyacinthe College, for seven years. He spend a year at the Jesuit College in Georgetown , United States, in order to master his knowledge on sciences [sic]. He returns in 1834 with a diploma of Master of Arts."
Thus, it seems that Desaulniers commenced his studies in 1829. A bit farther, Beauregard correct himself in order to fix Desaulniers' beginning of studies in 1834 (p.120) and after that (p.122) he synthesis his ideas:
"I think I should say that. Following my researches, before 1858-60, Mr. Desaulniers, even if he claimed, in front of his fellow teachers and his pupils in class, the introduction of Thomist doctrine, he did not teach it yet. But, since 1860 to 1868, authentic documents establish Thomist teachings."
Let us make a bit of math based simply on the autobiographical note that Desaulniers gives us. (Contrary to the signalizing given here by Beauregard and, by savage reproduction, by Lamonde, the extract we are using is not taken from the "Cabinet de Lecture", no 7, p.229 but from the Echo du Cabinet..., (which is an appreciable biblio-economical difference), vol VII, no 15, 1st August 1865, p.230; moreover, there is a light variant and an un-correctness which we do not take into account). In fact, in a series of conferences (lectures) called then (1864) "Course de Cabinet Parossial" and published in the Echo du Cabinet de lecture parossial (in Montreal, Bas-Canada), the "lecturer" (Isaac Desaulniers) attests:
"For my part, I know, I taught for 20 years, Descartes and Malebrance, and I affirm that the long study of this false philosophy have never satisfied the desires of my intelligence. But, since I started studying St. Thomas, everything seemed luminous."
Now, if Beauregard adds to 1834 the 20 years of "false philosophical" teaching, the result brings us to the fact that he taught Thomism in the college several years later. But, if we take Desaulniers' declaration seriously (and why shouldn't we?) we have to add those 20 years to 1829 and thus we find that Thomism was taught at St-Hyacinthe several years several years before (1849). Let us listen to what Beauregard says (in Lamonde, p. 123):
"I brought here two personal declarations of Mr. Desaulniers in order to establish that, before 1858, if he claimed knowledge over the Thomism, he did not yet teach it. The first one is extracted from a conference of Mr. Desaulniers given at Montreal, at the Cabinet de Lecture Parossial in February 1856. Here is the declaration:<< For my part, I know, I taught for 20 years, Descartes and Malebrance, and I affirm that the long study of this false philosophy have never satisfied the desires of my intelligence. But, since I started studying St. Thomas, everything seemed luminous and I admire profoundly the marvelous harmony of all the principle of this philosophy known as profound>>. - Cabinet de Lecture, no 7, p.229.
Counting in the period when Mr. Desaulniers was a teacher, these 20 years bring us around the year 1858". 
We are left with nothing but searching for other possible elements of influence or commerce, if we are to establish the fact that Thomist philosophy was not unknown towards 1850, 29 years before the Aeterni Patris. For example: the Revue des Deux-Mondes gathered Thomist studies toward 1850 (see the delivery of 1st September 1855; the inscription of the 'subject' in 1852 of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences from which the last point requested of "ending with a serious judgment of the doctrine of Saint Thomas in its diverse parts. To shed some light that what might be deficient in this doctrine, and that which seems to be durable and deserving a place in the philosophy of our time." Adding to this the "ontologist" or "spiritualist" controversy and the picture is sufficiently completed for our needs. (See: Defence de l'ontologisme ou de la philosophie spiritualiste contre les attaques recentes de quelques ecrivains qui se disent disciple de Saint Thomas, by the Abby J. Fabre d'Envieu, Paris - Toulouse, Thorin-Privat, 1863).
But if we come back to the Quebec of Mgr de Saint-Vallier (1653-1727), should we remember that the Rituel II, 108, (1703) of this last one, recommended to the ecclesiastics the Summa of Saint Thomas, even though under a restrictive way: specifically the IIa Iiae, the moral theology! In the Annuaire de l'Institute Canadiene pour 1866 (Mtl. "Le Pays" 1866) that time's librarian Alphonse Lusignan, attests the presence of the works of Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas, Abelard..., (p.15).

Appendix 7

Dead in the library
(Philosophy and teaching)
The contemporary biblical charity is loosing its virtue, its sobriety and its eucharisty. Facing in-concatenation, textual justice looses its measure. Once, the book claimed time. It had a length and a broadness. It used to be a volume. The journal had a name. It gathered details. Today, in uncertain environments, the journal can become a book and the book can be regarded as a journal. And this, without saying anything about the libraries which are not yet ranged, about the books which do not reign there yet. 
Between books and journals we have notebooks (Cahiers). Just as well, Cite Libre had its funerals. The memories of Saint-Marie College endure through these notebooks which are Les Cahiers de l'Universite du Quebec a Montreal and which continue now, in a certain way with the Cahiers du Quebec edited by Hurtubise HMH. Expecting the celebration of the great modern philosopher of contemporary French Canada (L.-M. Regis, o.p.), on the 7 Dec Hurtubise HMH published its ninth Notebook but the first title of a new Collection (Philosophy): Historiographie de la philosophie au Quebec 1853-1971 (sic), by Yvan Lamonde.
Here we are, in the presence of the ninth number of Quebec Notebooks, of the first volume of 241 pages of Mr. Lamonde. His work comprises the "presentation" of the philosophical collection by G. Leroux (p. 11-3); a short introduction(p.15-6) and the situation of the "historiography of philosophy in Quebec" or the "historiography of philosophy in French-Canada" - are the two most used titles of the author's work - (p.17-48) from 1853 to 1970 (sic); and a sum of reproduced texts(p.49-223) without new annotations, counter-indications, corrections or evaluations. These texts are grouped under two heads. The class of historical monuments (or historiographical, without byzantinism) that made possible a historiography: the text by Mgr L.-A. Paquet from 1917 (p.51-92); the one by Lucien Beauregard from 1942 (p. 113-30); the very sensitive "letter" - actually written in 1961 - by Jacques Brault to Adrien Therio; and finally, the demonstrative (in the sense derived from monstrum) considerations of Stanley French (p. 147-63). The other series of texts is bizarre. The title that unites them cannot be justified without violating the history and the philosophy as well as their teachings. They were historical; for the most part it would not be necessary that they actually make history....
Thus, facing this anthology, we have the occasion to be its witness, the reader being the one who posses the questions. Pure and simply, in order to find out what is all about. Because there are two sorts of wisdom: we all begin with the first one and always end up with the second one. For its part, reality is always too rich, too profound than the means or the instruments we have for exploring it; and it is the same with philosophy, for its teaching that makes history. Professorial philosophy, from mouth to mouth, as for the rest of all the teaching. Philosophical discovery which is and will remain this encounter with someone who is as present - free and available - for running against us, but who hides in a discrete absence in order to trouble us and let us face to face with ourselves, to make us encounter in ourselves that what we have never thought we were. History of another kind. 
Whatever the historiographical context of Mr. Lamonde's work would be, its particular title (Historiographie philosophique au Canada-francais) or its double (Historiographie de la philosophie au Quebec) would only be able to satisfy the inept ones, the distracted ones or the colonized ones. Isn't is all about an anthology of the philosophical situation in French Canada from 1853 to 1970? Or a documentary on the philosophical teaching...? Or, simply, a sum of chosen works...? Even better, because more precise - Annals of the propagation of faith from which the oldest ones, the ones in Quebec, are the best? Since the Quebec, with regard to this issue had and continues to have its credo as any other: I believe in thinking. Philosophical annals, history and situation (to be continued!). Why not? It is true that the documentary or the chosen works admit easier the arbitrary in the research, the selection and the presentation of materials, closing dates, vacillating institutions. The word annals would be the one matching best the gathering of chosen texts, reprinted without analysis, critique and situation. There is no effort in here. No human presence uttering a word to bring some life into these concordances and discordances among the authors. In order to tie their texts to historical present. Exactly here, the word is passive. Tomorrow it will be for those who wait. For the reader who would want to study and insert himself in these un-existent sectors of Canadian philosophical documentation. In order to go over the obstacle, the reared has to - among other possibilities - localize his own common spoils and read (meditate) <La Mission de la langue francais au Canada>, this conference held at the National Monument on April 27, 1905, in the Careme de Montreal by Abby Pierre Vignot (Paris, Victor Lecoffre et J. Gabalda, 1907, p. 267 - 312). If the reader is too rooted in America and he is an apprentice philosopher, he would find the American Adresse sent to the inhabitants of Quebec in 1774 in order to detect and analyze the quotations from Montesquieu which are contained there. If he wants to put his index on the French tradition on Darwin he would discover this passage where Darwin compares the French-Canadian to his own compatriots. If our reader wants only to cry or laugh, here is a passage taken from the book we are interested in here: "I do not expect anything from the logician as logician, or from the critic of sciences as critique of sciences with regard to national actuality. To say it all, it is the responsibility of the specialist in political philosophy to intervene in the actuality". As the academician used to say, better I know the man more I love my dog. Poor dog! 
But, before all this, Mgr Paquet, in his <<Coup d'oeil sur l'histoire de l'enseignement philosophique canadiene>> (p.51-92), pushes to 1894 the <<historiographical>> sources of this part of his text touching the <<philosophical honey>> of Jerome Demers, 1774 - 1853, (p.62-7). He uses the Fragments de l'histoire de Saint Nicolas of Etienne Theodore Paquet (First par - Priests native from St-Nicolas, Levi, Mercier & Cie, 1894: <<Le Grande Vicaire Jerome Demers>>, p. 13-82). And since Mgr Paquet was asking in 1918 whether the influence of Demers was sensed outside Quebec Seminary (p.67), we can affirm now, on archeological basis, that Max Piette from Berthier, H. Blanchard from Saint-Hyacinthe, E. Fabre from Montreal (among others) - students of Isaac Desaulniers at St-Hyacinthe - were still using the Institutions philosophiques of Demers in the year when Desaulniers died (22 April 1868) which is 33 years after the publishing at Presses de Cary and Socii of this philosophical treatise at Quebec. The item <<Hon. El- Theodore Paquet>> in the index (p.240) needs to be corrected. If an index is incorrect or deficient, why is it an index? Vincent instead Venant Cauchy (p. 238), and the confusion of Mailloux (p.240)? Arbour (p.23)? Paquet?! Gaudreau?
When M. Lamonde affirms that <<the historiography did not properly exist before it was not inaugurated in 1917 by Mgr Paquet>> (p.23), it seems that his judgment does not have any doubts since it contains and retains all the guaranties of its veracity. When he maintains that <<French Canada did not know neither the positivism, nor the materialism>> (p.26), he could not forget about the works put on the index. The on of Dr. Albert Laurendeau, La vie, and the stand of Mgr Archambault of Joliette at his place in 1912. The avant-gardist journal of Morin and Aristide Bourgeois in Montreal in 1912: La Lumiere (Socrates, Galileo, Voltaire, Darwin, Renan) and the interdiction of M.Paul Bruchesi, Archbishop of Montreal. The works of social philosophy of the great savant, philologist and religious philosopher, the lay professor of philosophy at McGill: John Clark Murray who was writing in English about some issues on French-Canadian philosophy. And the public meetings of the Evangelic Alliance held in Quebec towards 1874? [M. Lamonde forgets to check sources which can be easily reached: "Positivisme" at the Index of M.S.R.C. of Lucien Brault (Ed. de l'U. d'Ottawa, 1944, p.83); Dr J.-L. Desrochers, Les Doctrines evolutionistes, Montreal, 1913, p.1]. We can see that the date of the opening of the researches (1853) coincide with the note made by Herman Bastien in his book from 1936, L'Enseignement de la philosophie, I, in French Canada (p.222) - this work which still demands to be noticed,even today - , date which is tied up with the foundation of the Laval University. This thing (the foundation of the university) should have been put in the "summary" chronological table (p. 225-6).
But it is not. It is as important as the decision taken by Lamonde to found the faculty of philosophy at the U. of Montreal in 1920. ("Or, in 1920, there was no philosophical universitarian milieu in French Canada." C.-M. Forest, Activites Philosophique, p. 1964, p.10). The summary is certainly not the substitute for useful or for effective. But it should have been fair to date in this chronology the publication of the edition of this Summa Theologiae, capital work for the realm (known and recognized, veritable) of the medievalists from Quebec(Regis, Landry, Brunet, Pare, Audet, etc.) abroad. But what is important somewhere else is not important here. Still, we are our own capital. In spite of the historical silence. Is there a more insulting silence than that which covers the foundation of the Philosophical Society of Montreal (Le Devoir, Tuesday 28 Feb 1933, p.3) and its activities since? Here is another treasure which waits for its discoverer: the foundation, in Quebec in 1929-30 of the St-Thomas Aquinas Canadian Academy. A Canadian-Catholic association having in its composition 27 religious people and 3 lawyers - Antonio Perault and Leo Pelland from Quebec, John Walker in Halifax. Philosophical society from Quebec from 1930-45 which had annual sessions and which published the studies of his members or their guests, vol 1-9, Quebec, L'Action Catolique - Imp. Franciscaine Missionnaire, 1932-1945. In the first volume (1932, p.203-59) of this collection (to which M. Lamonde sends us usually in an inexact manner, p.22, 28, 29, 34, 37, 225, 230, 241) the cardinal Rodrigue Villeneuve, o.m.i. - back then a modest bishop of Gravelbourg and renamed Citevieille by our national librarian (jean Bruneau) in his Amours, Delices et orgues from 1953 - determines for a future already present in certain parts, "the role of philosophy in the Catholic universities". But we can never forget this asinine remark:
"I would like that the bourgeois spirits should be eliminated from the Universities and, instead to be created special courses for grocers. (...Mais de grace qu'on oublie point, au moins, qu'il doit y avoir dans une societe des hommes dont le metier est de penser.....)."(o.c., p.250).
My opinion is that this text is more useful and fertile for any history of the particular condition of the philosophy here than this universitarian public conference from 1934 and 1938. In fact, Villeneuve sends us to his ideas from 1928 and to their place as well as to the internal order of the speculative Thomistic philosophy and to its disorder that it will institute in the practical and scientific life of a savant as o.m.f. Longpre (dead abroad in 1965). It must be said, with regard to Villeneuve-Longpre controversy that it can be found in the Droit from Ottawa, in 25 Nov, 2 and 9 Dec 1927 and which Villeneuve recognizes modestly that "lately" he thought establishing "without leaving place for discussions, Churche's position on that matter". (p.210) 
And he makes us understand that in Quebec, it is the same for the same always in a certain manner: eminency for eminency, Ministry for Ministry. 
We know today that the future we should seize in order to understand an institutional history is not the future of the fact that, one day, something happened, but the future that an institution tries to bring to light and thus it delves in its own existence as the project of itself. This way, we can ask the historian to judge the effect of the events. 
The new books are for their authors, the old ones for the readers. 
Roland Houde

(Reproduced from Dialogue (Canadian journal of philosophy), vol. XII, no. 3, 1973, p.521-6)

 

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Marie-Victorin f.e.c. (1885 - 1944)

Conrad Kirouac, born in Kingsey Falls in the East Cantons, associate of the Jardin Botanique de Montreal foundation. A Quebec thinker, his texts were reunited by Herman Bastien in 1971 in Pour l'amour de Quebec (Sherbrooke, Ed. Paulines). The essay presented here appeared in Le Devoir, 26 Sept, 1925, p.1 and 2. Also see: Robert Rumilly - Le Frere Marie-Victorin et son temps, Mtl, F.E.C., 1949 and La Science et le pouvoir au Quebec (1920 - 1965) by Raymond Duchesne (Introduction by F. Dumont), Quebec, Ed. Officiel, 1978.


...QUEBEC, COUNTRY TO BE DISCOVERED AND CONQUERED

Somebody said once, and with good reason, that there is a sign of terrible in-culture to ignore all or almost all of the marvelous organic environment which shelters the self and that this lack of curiosity from the part of intelligent people, otherwise craving for knowing and qualifying the domain of ideas, would be a dark mystery if it would not be, in the first place, the deplorable effect of a backwards going pedagogy.

And, I would say more. There is also a terrible lack of culture to surmise even the intimate architecture and the functioning of this grand human house which we call universe, to use it without even knowing the soil of one's country, blindly crashing under the steps the numerous signs of the past life and source of the tomorrow's life. 

Summary:
The essay presents itself as a pled in favor of a 'return to the land', necessary not only for those working in research areas tied with the earth, its fauna and flora but also for those engaged in finding out the development of ideas, i.e. - the humanists. There is a sort of philosophical positivism steaming out when things like "the philosophy which does not take its time to scrutinize the field of sciences, which places itself outside of the positive facts and which claims to dominate apriori the world which it ignores, it is nothing else (at least with regard to some of its chapters) but a sterile game of mind..., another page in a history supercharged with human spirit's hesitations" (p. 87), are being said. 
But sciences itself (especially physics, chemistry, botany, geology and forestry) are not that well developed and competent. In the general picture, they cannot keep up with the richness of the land and more specialists are needed. 
The fact that there is a small number of people dwelling in this country (the author has in view particularly the French Canada) compared to the size of it, it should not be an obstacle. French language is the third most spoken language in the world and most of the French Canadians know (more or less well) English, which is the form of expression of today's scientific thought. This should be regarded as an advantage, which countries like Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, for example, do not have. Yet, things do not go as well as expected. 
The hope of the author is placed in the young generation whose elite seems not only to be attracted by this ideal of knowing better the surrounding world but also to fit in the framework designed by the gospels of the faith and an intelligent patriotism which are the best guides of a country's people.

 

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Julien Peghaire


Even though he is not noticed in the usual reference materials (Dictionnaire pratique des auteurs quebecois by Hamel, Hare, Wyczynski; Dictionnaire bibliographique du Canada francais by Victor Barbeau and Andre Fortier), it still means that this professor who taught at the Stanislas College and the University of Montreal, had a considerable influence with the reproduction (adapted and annotated), in 1936, of the Manual of Emil Boirac (Alcan, 9th Edition, 1904): Les Regles de la disertation philosophique (no 2 of L'Enseignement secondaire au Canada, 22e annee, vol XVI). After publishing his thesis (Intellectus et Ratio selon Saint Thomas..., Paris - Ottawa, Vrin- Inst. Et. Med., 1936, 318pp.), he published his synthesis of criteria, Regards sur le connaitre, Myl, Fides, 1949, 479 pp. The study presented here is extracted from the Bulletin des etudes francaises (Mtl., Coll. Stanislas), p. 159-62, Mai, 1942, consecrated to the third century since the creation of the Montreal foundation. 


French Philosophy in French Canada

In 1637, Descartes was publishing his Discourse de la Methode and, in 1641 his Meditations Philosophique. Between these two dates, M. de la Dauversiere, in accord with M. Olier, prepared the foundations of Montreal (of which Maisonneuve will recognize the site), in 1641. Descartes left La Fleche in 1641 and la Dauversiere in 1617. In a certain way, the Cardinal de Berulle launched Descartes in the philosophical adventure aiming at refuting 'the libertines'. And it is his successor, P.de Condren who turns M. Olier towards Montreal in order to convert the savages. Is this synchronism purely hazardous? Who knows? Anyway, from the same typical French environment we got these two successful achievements of France: The Discourse on Method and Ville-Marie, future metropolis of Canada. Who would not be curious to see if there still is - and how , after three centuries, this original contact of Canada with the French philosophical thinking?

In the heroic days of Montreal, the Jesuits- nurtured as Descartes, with Suarez and Vasquez, Sulpiciens- pupils of Sorbonne, did not have anything else to do than metaphysical speculations. This will take up to a century. In Quebec, at the College des Jesuits, on the other hand, philosophy was thought at least since 1659. The professors, all formed in France, followed the methods and the authors, arguments and infatuations popular in France - anti-Cartesians until 1730, Cartesians after.

After 1763, the teaching passes from the closed by now College to the Seminar of Quebec, whose "regents" still continued to turn towards France for materials for classes. The archives shelter manuals published at Caen, Paris, Epinal and two hand-written copies of non-edited manuscripts. The Supliciens in Montreal started philosophy "conferences". In both cities, the teaching was not done differently than in France. What is different is the Voltaire who was in vogue in Canada since 1767. The impact was so strong that Mgr. Paquet could write that "Voltaire, during the first third of the XIX century was, in the library of a good number of professionals." Moreover, in his classes, the Abby Demers, professor in Quebec since 1800, helped probably by his uncle, Recollet de Montreal, attacks Voltaire, Rousseau and the Encyclopedists. In a manual published in 1835, much more opened towards the contemporary preoccupations than the precedent ones, he refutes Lamennais and the philosophers of the XVIIIth century, adopting several ideas from de Bonald. And, with the support of "his opinions and his reasoning, he knows how to put under the eyes of the reader copious quotations extracted from the most en vogue French authors."

Towards the 1830, a crises succeeds to Voltarian crises: the Essai sur l'Indifference en matiere de Religions and later on Parols d'un Croyant (this work will have 8 editions in Canada), penetrate Montreal with their political-religious and social doctrines. Papineau nurtured with it his liberal movement before, as well as after the 1873 insurrection. The weekly magazines were fighting for or against Lammennais and even a new Avenir was founded in 1847. This infatuation touches even the clergy. It is well known, this philosophy exam where the Abby Desaulniers, an enthusiastic partisan of the Breton philosopher, sees his thesis about the authority of the human species knocked over by the merciless argumentation of a neighbor parish priest. (This philosophical discussion is the object of several essays by Louise Marcil-Lacoste whose "Sense commun et philosophie..." in Philosophie au Quebec, p.73-112). 
This incident weakened the enthusiasm of the poor Abby and, in 1834, when the Pape definitely accuses Lamennais, he obeys but he still remains in distress. One after the other, he tries Descartes, Cousin, Malebranche. He will not find his intellectual peace again sooner than 1840, when he discovers Thomas Aquinas, thanks to an old French Dominican, Goudin. Thus, for his students and for the public of Montreal, he becomes the pioneer of a Thomistic rebirth in Canada.

Meanwhile, either in Quebec or in Montreal, the philosophical teaching has the dullness of the seminars in France from where the manual was adopted (the one of the Mgr. Bouvier, bishop of Mans). One curiosity to be signalized: the presence at Montreal -because of unspecified reasons- of a manuscript of Abby Gottefrei, who at Issy, thaught Renan philosophy.

Towards 1862, the Quebec Seminary admits other seminaries to its baccalaureate in arts. Because even of the way the questions were asked in this exam, the manual used in Quebec becomes the manual which, as Mgr. Paquet puts it: "holds, in the same time the rich thought of the masters, as well as the intellectual effort of the students." 
...
It would be unfair though to restrain to the explication of all the philosophical work, especially for the last 30 years, only referring to a single manual. The Jesuits an the Dominicans had a good contribution to that and often they would turn towards their peers in France for formation and inspiration. Here, it must be mentioned the influence of PP.Gardeil, Sertillanges, Mandonnet and their school from Saulchoir. Moreover, young priests were going to Paris or Lille for completing their studies. Those who went to Rome would return being marked be the strong personality of the French Dominican Garrigou-Lagrange who, in 1924, the future Cardinal Villeneuve would regard as "the strongest or, in any case, the proudest representative of the integral Thomism."

French books (manuals and fundamental books) and French journals, as the Revue thomiste, the Etudes, or, sometimes, the Revue Philosophique, were the sources of information which these students, now teachers, were using to put some live into their personal works.

France, on the other hand, sends to them some of its masters. Two of them undoubtedly contributed to the philosophical progress in the last 15 years - Maritain and Gilson. The first is "regarded as one of the most powerful contemporary philosophers". His opinion is the highest rated one and there is no article which will not quote him or inspire from his work in some way. The second one multiplies each year the courses and the conferences. He is the one who, already founder of the Institute of Medieval Studies at the English University in Toronto, inspired the building of a similar center for the French Canada, at the Dominican Convent in Ottawa. (21) Father Chenu, disciple of Mandonnet, who came from France in 1931, succeeded in forming, first in Saulchoir and then here, a 'team of workers' who were very well acquainted with the most recent methods as it proves the seven or eight volumes already published.

But in all these, it can be observed, there is only Scholastic philosophy present. Is modern philosophy ignored in French Canada? Are Comte or Bergson really unknown? Whether it is pleasant or not, it is a fact which must be acknowledged: philosophy, French or foreign, is not unknown but only consciously and voluntarily deprived of any influence. In colleges, the students would get to know them (these philosophers) only as opponents of certain scholastic thesis. In the universities, the students have the chance to study them thoroughly, in their original text, but only as something which must be apprehended and refuted instead something which must be assimilated. 
French through their race and language, the Canadians, deprived, because of historical circumstances, of the possibility to find in themselves the assistance of the intellectual life they were longing for, they could not do anything else but to turn to France whose blood, no matter what, still runs through their veins. Catholics, they could not address themselves, in the field of philosophy (which touches so closely the things of their believes) to nothing else but French Catholics from whom they were asking for almost all the members of their teaching system. Thus, there is nothing curious in the fact that the French philosophers who influenced Canada were Catholic philosophers, disciples of the great Doctors of the Middle Ages. It can be certain this way that the authenticity of French thought did not suffer in any way.

 

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Fernand Dumont


Liberty and authority are two enduring elements of any mentality regarded both from an individual and collective point of view. 'Liberty' was the theme of the 6th annual conference of the Canadian Institute of Public Affairs, organized with the help of Radio-Canada and Canadian Democratic Institute in Ste-Adele, from 23 to 27 Sept 1959, under the supervision of Marcel Rioux and having as active participants people like Maurice Duverger, Frank R. Scott, Maurice Lamontaigne, Andre Laurendeau, Guy Rocher, Otto Klineberg, Paul Ricoeur, Gerard Pelletier, Jean Lapointe, Robert Elie, Jean Marchand, Jacques Lavigne and Arthur Tremblay - by then associate director at the Ecole de pedagogie at the University of Laval. The poet-sociolog-philosoph at the University of Laval, Fernand Dumont (1927-) contributed with the here joint essay. Recently, the history of the concept was recharged, in a different perspective, by Alain Tichou: Lumieres refletees ou les origines du dilemme canadiene de la liberte, in Dix-Huitieme Siecle, no 10, 1978, p.71-83, (in the annual revue of the Societe d'Etudes du 18e siecle, Paris, Editions Garnier. 
See also: Le Livre quebecoise 1764-1975, Q., Ministere des Affaires Culurelles, 1975, p.165; L'Actualite, vol.2, no 3, March, 1977, p.6,8,10; Perspectives, 2 Dec 1978, p.12, 14-6.

Does Liberty Have a Past and a Future in French Canada?

Summary

At first glance, we should engage ourselves in a some sort of a general view of the history of Canada: either for discovering this way a particular history of the liberty, or for detecting the history of the obstacles of liberty in Canada. 
On the other hand, it is not evident that we should evoke the history of Canada in a debate on liberty. In our environment, for many action men, I got the impression that the recourse to history would appear as an futile detour.

A question to which the author wants to respond in this article is ' why the history of Canada is linked to the present actions taken in this country and why it provides the basis for ........

I
I already emphasized the starting point: how can the recourse to the history of Canada be useful to the people of our society...whose action must comprise the promotion of liberty as one of the supreme values? 
In order to respond to this question one must first take a short detour. 
In today's French Canada, there is an increase of liberty related things. On personal level, as well as on the level of social organizations and social movements. These last ones can be classified in four important groups:
1 - Syndicalism - which must be privileged; it is born out of our problems, specific to our environment - which are usually brought into discussion when it comes to talk about "industrialization". 
Thus, the syndicalism has a manifold significance. .... But this manifold significance has its own limits: the syndicalism is to far away from a number of statutes thus, it is not able to supply a concrete root for all of them. 
2 - Associations - we still are too much attached to the parental relations and relations involving neighbors; we are using too many traditional schemes which make us believe in the in-opportunity of inventing something new.
3 - Several parties or political movements of the opposition which, especially now, are looking for a formal democracy, for a liberty with a very little defined content....Therefore, they question all the time the original signification of our environment and our traditional values. 
4 - Several socialist streams. A significant part of the population does not consider socialism as its own, but as something borrowed, imported. And, more as in the case of syndicalism, it would seem impossible to find a traditional source for it; it would be ridicule to glue to it our old political or religious liberalism of the XIX th century. 
This short inventory leads to these: 
1)We already have - and we will have - institutions susceptible to serve as basis in the exercise of liberty. 
2)Several of these institutions were born specifically from our problems (syndicalism, associations, etc.). 3) Others were the result of the rather international problems (socialism), but they still have a resonance to the Canadian reality. It seems that the essence of our problem can be reduced to the fact that what the ideologies and the organizations that stress a concrete engagement, a collective effort of the liberty lack is the faculty for us, the people of this place, to recognize ourselves. What we do not have is a definition both collective and concrete of ourselves given from the perspective of liberty. 

II

In order to resume what constitutes the essence of my first element of the thesis - we need a temporal structure of liberty. We do have the institutions which feed us a sociological perspective upon our fight for liberty; but we do not have a history of liberty which should be our history, which should be attached to values which each of us pretend to illustrate and which should make us recognize the institutions about which we talked as sketches, as fragments of what we are. 
To be able to see the significance of this history of liberty one should 'experience' how history emerges in moments of crises, in the immediate, in the present...In these moments, one rediscover the relations with those who, in the past, anticipated our present combats: it is remarkable that, in the broken France of 1940's, the revolution of 1789, the Common, Prudhon should be spontaneously resuscitated having a much more younger appearance. "I write, Bernanos said, in the Brazilian exile and in the disorder of the conquered France, I write for the child that I once was".

III

Given all these, we did not lack historians; half of the French-Canadian literature is made out of historical works or novels inspired by our past; the poetry itself, this traditional voice of liberty, since the beginning and for a long time, was inspired by historical themes. But for many of us, history appears to be an obstacle of the liberty. For them, it seems that to be free means to have to ability to lose the weight of the past. 
Why this contradiction? Why this need for history as well as this oppression of it? The hypothesis I advance here is that the need for a history of liberty collides with a French-Canadian historiography 1)constituted long time ago and 2) which points to a unilateral way of interpretation. I will comment these two qualities. 
The 1760 conquest, the essential schema for explaining our history, it is not a recent one: it influenced all our history manuals in Canada and it goes all the way to our first historian, Francois-Xavier Garneau. And he himself borrowed it from a French historian, Augustin Thierry. (One may think that, definitely, we borrow all). I suspect that, while we are searching for our past, we find ourselves facing more the tradition of our historians than the our national tradition...
For the bourgeois tradition from which Garneau was a (marginal) part, history meant the history of the nation, the only one and true French Canadian community. 
But this community fragmented since the XIX-th century - our milieu became industrialized, the cities changed their face. A working class was born and for I, the exaltation of the traditional farmer had no sense.
.... Thus, we are incapable of questioning the past; our development is still circumscribed to the people living in the 1840's (even though there were added numerous footnotes while time passed). But, as said above, we have changed - our society, our morals, our problems changed: the elbow room increased continuously between the definition of ourselves transmitted over time by the exasperate historians and what we became. In order to respond specifically to new situations, our liberty thinks it has to deny our past because it, itself, got the appearance of an analyzable 'thing', which can be regarded from outside, as if it is not a vital part of ourselves. The conquest, the traditional schema, became a veritable childhood trauma - and from here steams the whole 'pessimistic' trait of this perspective. And this 'history-thing' is, by way of an inevitable psychological corollaries, deterministic: 'history is a seismograph', claim our best researchers. And here we are caught in the trap of the knowledge of ourselves. 
Historiography is not the substitute for history, it is its heir. It cannot be unilateral, as is the tradition, but pluralist: keeping the eyes open to the diversity of situations history must diversify its points of view. 
Our historiography should be, in a way, psychoanalyzed. If we want to read in our history the intertwining of the ways of liberty, namely, a spiritual tradition rather than a sociological one, it would be necessary that the historian himself should rediscover his liberty as one being sheltered by the past: that he would recognize in the end, at the roots of what he considers significant events, the choices of anterior historians. 
The conquest is a central event, no doubt about it: but for a history considered solely as the development of a nation. The moment we decide to read our past from the stand point of other communities - political, religious and worker's ones - some other events may appear decisive as well. 
For me, it seems that one of the most important goals of the nowadays historiography should consist in finally prospecting our recent past - from 1875 till today: this period (actually, our 'middle' history) stopped being 'traditional' in the sense that now the working class was born and it, through its own existence, constitutes the biggest challenge of our national community. I do not say this in order to cover up some sort of a 'intellectual void' - this universe of 'works' about which us, intellectuals, think before everything else, a bit alienated as we are by our work and the bibliographies that is supposes - but to cover up a 'spiritual void' - this distance between what we were and what we are. I do not reject the interpretation of our history as a national past, but I would want to see it embracing other modalities of reading it. A history of Canada conceived in a polyvalent manner, would not show our past as being only the nightmare of an interminable agony but also would bring forth different figures of the liberty. ... And if this way we reach the level of communicating with the multitude of our spiritual traditions we have the chance to rediscover probably, in the end, the country which would neither be the one of a clan, nor the one of a school, but the one of all of us.

The historiography of liberty is for our historians to be written. I would only want to remind that I did not want to throw our history among the other polemics on the topic of liberty; I would have wanted to pled in favor of it being given again to our concrete will, to our concrete freedom, to a consciousness of what we are and with which we can discuss, in a coherent and free manner, about what we want.

 

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Yves Theriault

Yves Theriault (1915-), novelist and dramatist whose work is already counting almost 60 titles. His essay is extracted from the Revue Dominicaine, Vol. LXV, (T.1), April, 1959, P.176-8.
See also: Maurice Edmond, Yves Theriault et le combat de l'homme, Mtl, HMH, 1973

The philosophical utensil of the Canadian writer

Summary:

Based on the fact that the characters in a novel or a story are creations of the writer, the author asks himself how would be possible for the writers in Canada to express not only the person, but the Canadian person? How does one discover the common features of Canadians? Canada is the meeting place of two different kind of people, but also, it is the 'melting-pot' when it comes to a 'fractional level, more restraint'; it is a 'geographical complex'; it is a conscious (or not) mating between the Port-Royal attitudes and Thomism. But there are other features not easily recognized by the statistics and reports - 'there is a racial mass, a human group well differentiated from foreign groups; a lifestyle steaming from opposite factors: the north-American Anglo-Saxon surrounding, the terrible pressure coming from the States and Toronto with regard to economical factors; the resistance to the universal humanism practiced unconsciously in the elementary education; the non-existence of an intellectual pride in the pupil in the elementary school (and the non-recognizance of its necessity)'; and, finally, the burden of a seldom rigorously Catholicism...
These are only isolated factors, chosen among others and they make the Canadian person a hybrid, which is difficult to explain and motivate through a philosophy based on European concepts and world views.
The need for a 'well formulated Canadian philosophy, clearly expressed, put into place by those authorized to do it' is felt. And this is not to be done through a brief systematic effort, but by way of recognizing a need and accepting it, followed by patience will to reach the aim.

 

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Jacques Brault


Poet and philosopher, born in Montreal in 1933, Jaques Brault is a professor at the Institute D'Etudes Medievales de l'Universite de Montreal. His texts express in an exemplar manner his convictions: "There is only one way of contesting, redressing and stimulating philosophy and it consists in producing philosophical works." The essay here presented is reproduced from the literary journal of the University of Ottawa, Incidences, no3, 1963, p.5-7

PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE

Why is it that the philosophers here should turn towards the French-Canadian literature?

This literature, even if it still not recognized and ignored, remains without unique, because it is the product of people (poets and mostly novelists) who, in distressing conditions, attempted to give voice to a legendary silence. The task is demanding but it beautiful and necessary. It is not the same as Anne Hebert put it:

La vie ici est a decouvrir et a nommer;
ce visage obscure que nous avons, ce coeur 
silencieux qui est le notre, tous ces
paysages d'avant l'homme, qui attendent 
d'etre habites et possedes par nous, et
cette parole confuse qui s'ebauche dans 
la nuit, tout cela appelle le jour et 
la lumiere.

Our writers, as well as the particularities of their works, attempt to name the human being and the world. Isn't it that through word - through myth - the poetic and the metaphysic meet and tie into each other without, however blending? And what is the common thing between the poet and philosopher if not the effort to name which is considered to be the basis of the expression and communication?

But here, the simplicity threats to compromise everything: it is not desirable that literature and philosophy , through the exchange of good processes, to reach the stage where they lose one into the other. There will always be a moment when the poet and the philosopher would borrow means which, even though they are parallel and precisely because they are parallel, lead to different aspects of the being: on the one side - to perceptible, on the other side - to intelligible. The reconciliation can only take place in the core of being, and in this case, but only in this case, it should be desired that the being of the philosopher and the being of the poet should be the same and only being, attuned for one as the love which will invest the intelligible, attuned to the other as the truth which will cross the perceptible.

Does this mean that our philosophers cannot reach the same things that our poets and novelists do? Quite contrary. Because no philosopher (and we owe it to the philosophies of the existence that reminded it to us) does not ask the fundamental questions in abstracto and as if already relieved by the marks of time and space. "What is man, what is the world, what is God? Why and how, the ultimate being?..." All these questions do not take us anywhere, they do not have any sense if one is zealous in laying them bare, in uprooting them. The One can be attained only in terms of a difficult and always imperfect union with the Multiple. The being presents to us under the numerous and priceless faces of all the beings which we encounter in our daily life. By asking ourselves: "Who are we, why we exist?", we start to inquire into the being without falling, from the beginning, in pernicious reductions and void generalities.

However, those who assumed almost alone the difficult task of saying our being, of declining our identity, were our poets and novelists. They are those who respected the "linguistic contract" de Saussure was talking about, a contract without which a community get dispersed from the cultural point of view and exiles itself in the silence, the isolation, the panic of being afraid and other psychotic syndromes. Thanks to our poets and our novelists we are having the chance to be in the world with regard to the language, we are still having the power to be the other through being ourselves.

The part committed to our literature is so profound and determinant that if our philosophers would dispense of any interaction with our poets and novelists, they very much risk to be, in philosophy, the equivalent of those uprooted adepts of the intellectual short-circuit, who are called "citizens of the world" and who, without country, without home, advocate a world in which human beings are not a part.

It is not the point here that I want to engage our philosophers into actuality... May the hands of Socrates keep me from doing that! But we would not have access to all the philosophical problems (otherwise, not too many), if we do not agree first to ask them in the very terms of thought and action which are here and now. 
And our poets and our novelists have the key to these terms. What they have to say?

It was sustained that Canadian literature in the last 20 years was not too jovial. And it is true, at a certain level. The personages of G.Roy, Langevin, Giroux, Bessette, Filiatrault, etc, breath an oppressing air. The poets give voice to revolt and refusal. 
...
[But] it is the time when philosophers should enter the common word and concur to the task of putting together the scattered truths. And this is the point where the poets and novelists have to be taken into account. As in an accompaniment. Because it should not be a contribution to increase the confusion between creation and knowledge. Literature cannot assume all the tasks without betraying itself. With this regard, it cannot make itself absolutely philosophical. There where through a vital necessity, Canadian literature - as any literature - constitutes itself in impurity and partiality, it devolves to philosophy the task of confronting the problems of being and uttering the problem in a necessary word. Isn't it right what Anne Hebert says:

O mes freres les plus noirs, toutes fetes 
gravees en secret; poitrines humains,
calebasses musiciennes ou s'exasperent des
voix captives.
Que celui qui a recu fonction de la parole
vous prenne en charge comme un coeur tene-
breux de surcroit, et n'ait de cesse que
soient justifies les vivants et les morts
en un seul chant parmi l'aube et les herbes.

 

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Antonio Perrault

Me Antonio Perault (1880-1955), absent from the Dictionnaire pratique des auteurs quebecoise by Hamel, Hare, Wyczynski (Mtl., Fides< 1976) in spite of his Traite de Droit Commercial (3 Vols, Ed. Albert Levesque, 1936-40) and his principal position at La Revue du Barreau from 1940 to 1945. Antonio Perault was one of the three lay founding-members of the Academie Canadienne Saint-Thomas d'Aquin. He contributed to more than 22 studies for the Memoires of the Canada Royal Society where he was a member since 1917. The question asked by Perault, still actual in certain milieus, is extracted from his conference paper at the first meeting of the Academie Canadienne Saint-Thomas d'Aquin, vol.I, 1932: "The Participation of Lay Persons at the Social Apostolat of the Church", (1930)

 

"...A Canadian Philosophy?"

 

Is there in our country a 'Canadian philosophy'? What are its dominant traits?

On the political field, one can distinguish several theories, as, for example, the imperialism or the nationalism; several ways of administration related to the commercial dynamics, protection or free-exchange. In the field of literature one can distinguish several schools whose rulers, not enough recognized, would advocate the regionalism (some of them) or the literary production reflecting the very soul of the humanity and the colors of all the horizons (the others).

With regard to the philosophy, with regard to the final causes of human reality, to the great ideas of knowledge, to the consciousness, to duty, with regard to the core of the problems of the civilization itself, with regard to all these, where does Canadian philosophy stand ? 
Our morality was based and it is based on norms offered by the Christianity. Its spirit and its teachings are those which dominate the narrow perspectives of the parties and the individual quarrels, help correcting the events, lead human facts, impose certain social conceptions, keep Canada to a superior level of life. Our most clear, certain, well doing inputs both at individual level and social level, were borrowed from Christianity. And this is the direction towards which the Canadian philosophy should follow. And, from this perspective, following the example of the philosophers of other countries, our people should study more the relevant problems closely related to philosophy.

Philosophical works are rare in this country. The philosophy suffering probably the coldness of our winters, closed itself inside the teaching chairs. Since 1635, it develops its work in the colleges and in the universities of Canada. In these conditions, which were the tendencies it manifested?

If we take a look at the way teaching is done in the Canadian Protestant universities, we are forced to recognize that it is not done following a precise program, but that it comprises historical and critical dissertations on a multitude of philosophical systems. This attitude is consistent with the general framework of the Protestantism; sensible to the free examination, it offers freedom to the individual conscience and eclecticism, it gives independence not only in the realm of reason but in the realm of things partaking to faith as well.

Philosophical teaching, penetrating in the province of Quebec as a follow up of Catholicism, did not cease to be in close connection to the Catholic teachings and the tradition based on both Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. Starting with 1860, there were new attempts to accentuate the philosophical formation of the students attending colleges and universities. From the apparition of the Aeterni Patris encyclica, our colleges proudly entered more thoroughly the Canadian teaching into the doctrinal stream announced by Leon XIII, which is a common preoccupation of all our teaching establishments, with the difference, however that philosophy is not taught today using the same authors and it does not reflect anymore the same nuances of opinions.

Should there be done something more?

There is no need, it seems to me, to multiply the systems following the vain effort to appear original. How many ideological myths did not have as effect just the fact of burden the spirits and of disorienting them ! We would have been far more advanced if those people, who are clear about certain principles and established truths, familiarized with the thought of St. Thomas, would project the light and the virtue outside their classes towards our Canadian particularities. And it is here where the work of several laymen, interested in introducing the dictates of philosophy understood in this way and those of the Catholic teaching should appear in various manifestations of the national life. 
As the years will pass, the imminence of such an apostolate would be obvious. Living in America, the exigencies of economical interests would become overwhelming; the domination of matter will be more visible; ways of existence, imprinted with the only aim - to gather material richness, will be more common. What will become, in such conditions, the Canadian spirit?

The ideas will never lose their necessity. In the democratic societies, culture remains a fundamental issue. The way people are depends of the direction their actions are guided to.

And these people cannot be guided neither by some directing principles, nor by a moral will represented by several leaders. It is through the force of ideas that the reformists impose in front of the working class and show them, for example, the benefits of the Communism. ......

The Catholics have the privilege to hold the most organized for of Christianity, the one which, dominating the individual, imposes to him/her a unique code of doctrines and aspirations. They think that no philosophy can compare to it and that stretching it to gain the spirits in order to then raise the will, is to bring to a whole nation the certitude of a strong and noble life. The laymen who become the help of the church's chiefs and who spread their thoughts among the common people, insure the order and the continuity of the nations works. 


Translation From French to English by Gabriel Furmuzachi

 

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