Attended KCCS • 1962–1965
I was born in Denmark and lived my first years on a farm north of Copenhagen. Then my family immigrated to Canada where my father found work on farms around Bolton, Ontario. As a farm boy I was expected to help out in the barn and in the fields. I went to one-room / one-teacher rural public schools that never had more than about two-dozen students in them. It was a great experience. That’s where I learned to speak English.
When I began high school in King City I really wanted to study music but there was no room in the music class for me. The principal made me take Latin with the promise that I could go into music if I passed the Latin course and a place became available. Things eventually worked out and I got to study music and, with Mr. Olynyk’s encouragement, learned to play the clarinet quite well. I even received the music-proficiency award from the Aurora District School Board one year (1964). Music has been a lifelong source of enjoyment for me ever since. Incidentally, I also played—well, sat on the bench—for the basketball team.
After high school I went north, as far as my student loan would take me, to Lakehead University. It was there that I accidentally fell into a philosophy course. It led to a BA. Later, while studying for my PhD at Wayne State University in Detroit I went south across the river to the University of Windsor—yes, Windsor is south of Detroit!—and began an association with its philosophy department, which has taken me from part-time secretary to Full-Professor and Department Head.
My research has been in the history of philosophy and the theory of arguments, especially fallacies and argument schemes, and methods of argument evaluation. I have also edited a number of books, including one about Louis Riel, the Métis leader who led two uprisings against Canada in the nineteenth century. My academic work has led to invitations to speak at universities in many countries, including: Chile, China, Croatia, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have had the jobs and opportunities that have come my way. Still, the best of all my fortunes rests at home. My parents encouraged me to develop my interests; my three children and wonderful wife have never wavered in their support.
Not everyone is asked to reflect publicly on the course of their lives and speculate about the causes that started their journey to the present; space limitations have mercifully forced me to be selective. But now, in hindsight, I can see that my experience at KCCS (King City Composite School) was of momentous importance to me. It was there that my interest in knowledge and learning were kindled and stimulated. I am thankful for the fine teachers at this school and for my student-friends all of whom made my time at KCCS so rewarding, and now make it a great pleasure to remember.
Written – September 2019