Volume IV Number 2

Ottawa, Canada

Fall 1992

Message from the President

Francis Peddle


This instalment of ELEUTHERIA completes James Lowry’s series Psyche and Cosmos that began with Volume III, Number 2 in the Fall of 1991. The full article is available from the Institute as a softcover volume in its MONOGRAPH SERIES.

Reflection on the thought orientations of modernity; its spirit, limitations and false idealities, has been prevalent in the pieces appearing in this publication. How one understands modernity is today usually the mirroring of a disciplinary or historical education. Hence, the psychological, sociological and economic “modernities” that colour much of the contemporary realms of professional discourse.

The categories and conceptual referents used to circumscribe modernity range from the more universally illuminating to the fleeting empiricisms of anecdotal commentaries. The modern tendency to elevate the Aristotelian category of potentiality () above actuality (), and to ignore altogether complete reality (), forms, for example, a sounder basis for insightful reflection than the current legislative ideologies which idealize the incidental. The necessity for philosophical coherence becomes more pronounced as our socio-political languages fragment, and institutional life is increasingly subject to artificialities of contract law and brokered interests. The inevitable result is the desiccated language, as symptomatic of significantly diminished conceptual powers, of Canada’s recent constitutional forays and the spreading bankruptcy of political dialogue.

The two pieces in this issue, Roy Hanna’s review of James Robertson’s Future Wealth: a New Economics for the 21st Century and James Lowry’s Charlottetown Discord, approach modernity from the absolutized subtexts of economics and politics. Both orientations strain humanity to the limit through an excessive one-dimensionality; economics, presupposing that advances in spirituality are only possible on a material substratum, and politics assuming that consensus not conceptual rigor and internal cohesion can lead to an amelioration of institutional life. The necessity of speculative thought as a rational basis for political and economic organization will be explored in future issues of ELEUTHERIA.