UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Georges Duhamel et la civilisation Hood, James Alexander


Abstract of Georges Duhamel et la Civilisation, thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Arts by-James Alexander Hood. Chapter I, La Fonction sociale de l'écrivain. Duhamel’s conception of the rôle of the author in society; his social, moral and political responsibilities. Chapter II, Le Désintéressement. Deals with Duhamel’s belief in the conflict between industrial and cultural civilization, the former founded on selfishness, the latter on disinterestedness. Chapter III, Le Règne du coeur. An explanation of Duhamel's doctrine for an ideal society, based on brotherly love rather than social coercion. His conception of the moral value of pain and suffering in the development of the individual. Chapter IV, La Crise de la civilisation - La Vie future. Duhamel's belief that the social and industrial mores of the U.S.S.R., and of the U.S.A., reveal the future form of the social institutions of humanity. His criticism of the curtailment of human freedom under the antagonistic political philosophies of both these states. Chapter V, La Crise de la civilisation - Le Phénomène panique. Duhamel's criticism of the uncontrolled extension of bureaucratic interference into all levels of human activity in the modern state, with special reference to France. Chapter VI, Le Rôle de l'élite. The responsibilities of the intellectual élite in contemporary society. Its duties are, negatively, to defend spiritual civilization against the encroachments of industrial civilization, positively, to extend the influence of true culture by educating the masses. Conclusion. The contradictions to be found in Duhamel's thought.

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