Published by: University of Ottawa Press


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Apperception, Knowledge, and Experience

W. H. Bossart

Postmodernism is sometimes characterized as a loss of faith in reason, a loss of self, and an exaggerated relativism. W.H. Bossart discusses these alleged losses in the light of the "triumph" and subsequent decline of the transcendental turn in philosophy initiated by Kant.

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Assisted Suicide

Canadian Perspectives

Edited by C. G. Prado

When it became possible to extend the dying process, it became necessary to decide when to stop doing so because of the enormous personal and social costs. But perspectives on "assisted suicide" vary greatly. Physicians see it as a medical issue, jurists as a legal issue, philosophers as a moral issue and the media as a political issue. These original essays show how these perspectives shape the ongoing debate.

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The Existence of the External World

The Pascal-Hume Principle

Jean-René Vernes

Do the objects that we perceive though our senses exist autonomously, independent of the mind that perceives them? Three and a half centuries have gone by without a universally acceptable solution. Jean-René Vernes shows that this failure results from the fundamental error in classical thinking, which identifies reason with determinant reason alone

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Foucault and the Indefinite Work of Freedom

Réal Fillion

This work underscores the need to examine history philosophically, not only to better appreciate how it unfolds and relates to our own unfolding lives, but to better appreciate our free engagement in this changing world. Linking a conception of ourselves as free beings to the historical process was of central importance to the classical speculative philosophies of history of the nineteenth century, most notably Hegel’s. Michel Foucault’s work is often taken to be the antithesis of this kind of speculative approach.
This book argues that Foucault, on the contrary, like Hegel, sees freedom as tied to the self-movement of thought as it realizes and shapes the world. Unlike Hegel, however, he does not see in that self-movement the process of Spirit reconciling itself with the world and thereby realizing itself as freedom. Rather, he sees in the freedom at the core of the self-movement of thought a possible threat around which that movement consolidates itself and gives shape to the world.
Foucault’s work is therefore not a simple rejection of Hegel’s speculative philosophy of history, but rather an inversion of the manner in which history and freedom are related: for Hegel history realizes or actualizes the “idea” of freedom, whereas for Foucault freedom realizes or actualizes the “materiality” of history.

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Freedom, Nature, and World

Peter Loptson

Freedom, Nature, and World is a collection of essays by Peter Loptson which examine issues posed by a broadly naturalistic view of the world, which Loptson defends while also exploring some of the challenges it confronts. Papers on freedom, Kant, Christianity, Homer, the history of analytic philosophy, the place of humanity in nature, and other topics, are brought together within a synoptically naturalistic purview. All the essays rest on, and in some cases extend, that synoptic perspective, which seeks to encompass both a scientific understanding of humankind in the natural world and the complexities of free rational agency within our cultural and historical settings.

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God and the Grounding of Morality

Kai Nielsen

These essays make a single central claim: that human beings can still make sense of their lives and still have a humane morality, even if their worldview is utterly secular and even if they have lost the last vestige of belief in God. "Even in a self-consciously Godless world life can be fully meaningful," Nielsen contends.

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Hockey and Philosophy

Normand Baillargeon

Does hockey provide a better understanding of the differences between Canadian and Québécois nationalisms? What profound ties unite the hockey arena and the political arena? Why would the abolition of tied games be considered an immense loss for society? Are hockey players’ salaries really so scandalous? Is hockey more of an art form than a sport? Why forbid performance-enhancing drugs? Are goalies all nervous types? Has our national sport spawned its very mythology and metaphysics? In hockey, do fights reflect more than we’d care to admit about human nature? And imagine this: what if famous philosophers played hockey? 

Over a dozen hockey and philosophy enthusiasts examine these, and many other, surprising questions, in an attempt to better understand a sport that the Québécois have elevated to something akin to a cult. Attention Gretzky, Richard, Crosby, Plato, Kant, and Kierkegaard fans: this hockey-philosophy mash-up will get your blood pumping! 

Essays by Normand Baillargeon, Anouk Bélanger, Christian Boissinot, Jean- François Doré, Jean Grondin, Mario Jodoin, Charles LeBlanc, Jon Paquin, Tony Patoine, Julie Perrone, Chantal Santerre, Jean-Claude Simard, Rodney Saint-Éloi, Fannie Valois-Nadeau and Daniel Weinstock. 

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Homo Interrogans

Questioning and the Intentional Structure of Cognition

John Bruin

Emerging from the Brentano-Husserl tradition, this volume charts new ground in the conceptual discourse of questioning and answering. John Bruin examines the "logic" of interrogation and makes the case that intentionality itself has the structure of question and answer. Here, he breaks rank with the better known and more traditional and sets out to explore questioning from a phenomenological perspective.

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Husserl and the Sciences

Selected Perspectives

Richard Feist

Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) is one of the previous century's most important thinkers. Often regarded as the "Father of phenomenology," this collection of essays reveals that he is indeed much more than that. The breadth of Husserl's thought is considerable and much remains unexplored. An underlying theme of this volume is that Husserl is constantly returning to origins, revising his thought in the light of new knowledge offered by the sciences.

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Is There a Canadian Philosophy?

Reflections on the Canadian Identity

G.B. Madison, Paul Fairfield and Ingrid Harris

Is There a Canadian Philosophy? addresses the themes of community, culture, national identity, and universal human rights, taking the Canadian example as its focus. The authors argue that nations compelled to cope with increasing demands for group recognition may do so in a broadly liberal spirit and without succumbing to the dangers associated with an illiberal, adversarial multiculturalism. They identify and describe a Canadian civic philosophy and attempt to show how this modus operandi of Canadian public life is capable of reconciling questions of collective identity and recognition with a commitment to individual rights and related principles of liberal democracy. They further argue that this philosophy can serve as a model for nations around the world faced with internal complexities and growing demands for recognition from populations more diverse than at any previous time in their histories.

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