Originally produced for Canadian radio and delivered in 1959, this series of lectures is still very much worthwhile. It is an attempt, by an unconventional philosopher, to explain moral philosophy to the public. The subjects covered include natural law, the idea of progress, American pragmatism (which he strongly criticizes), freedom, and law. In his early twenties Grant had an experience, seemingly out of the blue, which convinced him of God's existence. Deeply Platonistic and attracted to the thought of Philip Sherrard, C.S. Lewis, and Simone Weil, he thereafter tried to interpret the modern world, which is in so many ways different than all the worlds before it, from a religious point of view. This, along with Grant's ability to see everything in broad historical terms and his insistence that some things are absolutely wrong (he spoke out strongly against abortion), give his work particular resonance.
An Eighth Day View:
When George Grant delivered Philosophy in the Mass Age over the CBC radio network early in 1958, it was an immediate hit. He criticized the Western notion of progress and affirmed the role of philosophy in teaching and assisting people in understanding. Robert Fulford described it then as stunningly effective: 'Grant's talks, obviously the product of a supple and curious mind, were models of their type - learned but clear, original but persuasive, highly personal but intensely communicative.'
Grant's analysis of lhe paradox of modernity is no less intriguing today. The need to reconcile freedom with the moral law 'of which we do not take the measure, but by which we are measured and defined' is still an issue in our times.
William Christian has restored the text of the original 1959 edition. He has supplemented it with material from the broadcast version of the lectures, including a ninth lecture, not previously published, in which Grant responded to listeners' questions. The controversial introduction to the 1966 edition appears as an appendix.