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Biographies of Prominent Quebecers


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Hermas Bastien




Damien-Claude Bélanger,

Department of History,

McGill University


Philosopher, educator, and soldier, was born at Montreal . He was educated at the Collège de Montréal and at the Montreal's Collège Sainte-Marie before entering the Université de Montréal where he received a doctorate in 1928 for his Essai sur la psychologie religieuse de William James. He taught Latin at Montreal's Mont-Saint-Louis from 1928 to 1939 and gave courses on American literature at the Université de Montréal between 1931 and 1941. Bastien served as a major in the Canadian army during the Second World War. After the war he taught pedagogy at New Brunswick's Université Saint-Joseph before returning to teach at his alma mater, the Université de Montréal, in 1954. A prolific author whose work has been more or less ignored by French Canadian intellectual historians, Hermas Bastien was the first French Canadian writer to produce a major study of American philosophy. His Philosophies et philosophes américains (1959) was the culmination of over thirty years of research on the subject. However, as a conservative French Canadian nationalist, he was deeply concerned by the corrosive effects of pragmatism on Catholic thought. Bastien contributed an article on "L'américanisation par la philosophie" to the Revue dominicaine's seminal 1936 inquiry into "Notre américanisation."

On peut aussi consulter une courte biographie de Bastien, rédigée en français, qui se trouve dans l'encyclopédie du site.

© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College