In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

452 LEITERS IN CANADA 1979 literature that matter. Perhaps Canadian criticism is making progress after all. (w./. KEITH) A.B. McKillop. A Disciplined Intelligence: Critical Inquiry and Canadian Thought in the Victorian Era McGill-Queen's University Press. xii, 287. $21.95 cloth, $9.95 paper Educational systems necessarily reflect the received or established values of the social groups they serve and in periods of changing values are likely to be considerably behind the times. Novel. disruptive ideas are customarily opposed as tending towards anarchy. But those that are persistent in their influence will in time be accommodated and in their tum extolled as essential to the social order. In A Disciplined Intelligence A.B. McKillop describes one of the most important reversals of opinion in Anglo-Canadian history - the acceptance offree critical inquiry by the nineteenth-century intellectual establishment. His story begins in the 1840S and 1850S, when defenders of the intellectual status quo were understandably nervous about the tendencies of modem thought. The rise of a mass reading-public had created a market for speculative ideas, quite outside the control of the clergymen who ran the colleges of English-speaking British North America. In the Scottish 'common sense' philosophy, Baconian scientific method, and the natural theology of William Paley these clerical educators found the tools they needed (in McKillop's words) 'to subordinate intellectual inquiry to the dictates of piety.' The Origin of Species and Essays and Reviews began an era in which the defenders of orthodoxy found themselves systematically undermined. By the 1890S philosophical idealism had provided an escape route to a more tenable position. Especially in the Protestant colleges free critical inquiry was now seen as the new moral imperative. Religious liberalism became the status quo (much to the perplexity of students raised in the older, evangelical tradition), and the way was open for the religious pluralism of modem times. A Disciplined Intelligence presents a detailed account of the stages in this intellectual volte-face. The thinking of a long succession of influential British North Americans Games Beaven, James Bovell, James George, William Lyall. William Dawson, Daniel Wilson, William Hincks, William Dawson LeSueur, Paxton Young, John Watson, Salem Bland, S.D. Chown) is systematically examined. The development of public opinion is traced in magazines and student journals of the day. An impressive case is mounted for regarding the nineteenth-century Canadian intelligentsia as a branch-plant operation of the Scottish and English intellectual establishments. No attempt is made to draw extensive parallels between the development of public opinion in Canada and Britain, but HUMANITIES 453 ample material is provided for such a comparison. The continuity of thinking in Canadian intellectual circles to the present time is similarly suggested but not dealt with in detail. And these are only two of the many new directions in scholarly thinking suggested by this highly original and useful work. A Disciplined Intelligence is sure to become an indispensable source book for students of Canadian intellectual history . (PETER ALLEN) Frank M. Tiemay, editor. The Isabella Valancy Crawford Symposium University of Ottawa Press. 158. $6.00 paper There is a paragraph in The Golden Bough where Frazer, drawing on a vignette in Charlevoix'S Histoire (1744), describes the manner in which North American Indians, believing that 'each sort of animal had its ... genius: treated even mice 'with ceremonious respect: No doubt if Isabella Valaney Crawford had lived to see the publication of The Golden Bough in 1890 she would have found it congenial to her mythopoeic imagination; she might even have incorporated Charlevoix's vignette of an Indian fondling a dead mouse before allowing his daughter to eat it into the embroidered fabric of a narrative, or - since she seems to have had a sense of humour as well as of myth - made it the subject of an amusing (and feminist?) lyric. Such is one train of thought provoked by the Crawford Symposium. Another is that Louis Dudek, whose voice cuts sharply against the grain of the other contributions to the volume, would have seen in the Indian's respectful and ceremonious fondling of the dead mouse an apt image for the Crawford symposium itself and for all that is wrong with...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 452-453
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.