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Podcasts - davidcayley.com

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C.B. Macpherson: A Retropspective


I had not been a reader of C.B. Macpherson up until the time of his death in September of 1987, but I knew enough of his reputation, and the scale of his influence within political science in Canada and around the world to think that Ideas should pay tribute to someone who had clearly been one of the outstanding scholars and thinkers of his generation.† One of the pleasures of preparing the series was reading Macpherson - at last - and coming to share the assessment of so many of his contemporaries and students.† One of them, Ed Broadbent, then the federal leader of the New Democratic Party, thought of him "one of the great thinkers in the democratic tradition" - not just one of the great Canadian thinkers, Broadbent added, but a contributor to the great tradition† of political thought "stretching from Marx and Mill up to the present." † Doing the interviews,† once I had boned up on my Macpherson, was an equal pleasure.† So many people acknowledged and appreciated Macpherson as an interpreter of modern political thought that I easily found enthusiastic interlocutors.† Their tributes follow...

DC - McPherson (audio/mpeg )

History and the New Age

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In Between Two Ages, the first long series I did for Ideas in early 1981, I began to explore the unique character of our historical moment, and to advance the idea that only a radical change of mind could respond to its demands.† Three years later, I got a chance to follow up that initial effort with the present series.† Its organizing image or paradigm is the idea of a new age Ė the way in which I then spoke about my dawning recognition that received social and political forms are quite unable to grasp humanityís new situation.† The intervening thirty-four years have made me more tentative, but, if you take away a certain brash, post-1960's confidence that a reconciliation between men and women, modernity and tradition, humanity and nature was on the horizon, there is much in that way of looking at things that I would still affirm today.† Certainly the sparkling cast I managed to assemble makes this series worth revisiting.† Among its luminaries are Northrop Frye, Raimundo Panikkar, Robert J. Lifton, Father Thomas Berry and many others, whose names I have listed below.

One of the characteristic features of the documentary form, as Iíve observed when re-introducing other old series as well, is that many different points of view are made to align and march, more or less, in the same direction.† A few years later, I would have treated the many thinkers represented here separately, and tried to understand what was distinctive in each oneís approach.† I donít mean I have papered over their differences here, or that there was anything promiscuous about the way I assembled these particular people.† Each one was, in some way, a teacher to me, and each oneís work bore on †the themes that I wanted to develop.† I mean only that, once one has interviewed so many people, the challenge of integrating them all into a more or less coherent structure, leaves little room for the contextualization of each speaker, or for consideration of all the ways in which they differ from one another, and from the consenus, however rough, that† I was imposing on them by smushing them all together in one program.†

That said, I still find that these shows make interesting listening.† The dramatis personae is as follows: †

Part One: Dhyane Ywahoo, Northrop Frye, Joseph Brown, Raimundo Panikkar, Derrick de Kerckhove, Thomas Berry, Ewart Cousins

Part Two: Dhyani Ywahoo, Joseph Brown, Richard Lee, Ashley Montagu, Stanley Diamond, Joseph Campbell

Part Three: Walter Odajnyk, Robert J. Lifton, Ira Progroff, Jean Houston, Richard Moss

Part Four: David Spangler, Northrop Frye, Raimundo Panikkar, Ewart Cousins,† Thomas Berry, Matthew Fox


02 Track 02.mp3 (audio/mpeg )