Monthly Archives: August 2022

WSCM 6: Reading Wright

Sometime soon after McLuhan transferred from Engineering to Honours English in 1929, in 1930-31 perhaps, he took the UM introductory philosophy course which was given in two halves, one taught by Rupert Lodge, and the other by Henry Wright. Presumably Lodge concentrated on Plato and Wright on modern authors.

One of the books studied in Wright’s part of the course was his own 1925 volume, The Moral Standards of Democracy:

McLuhan’s “heavily annotated” copy of Moral Standards remains in his library which the McLuhan family has donated to the rare book collection at Fisher Library of the University of Toronto.

The museum will feature blowups of pages from Wright’s book and of  McLuhan’s notes in it.

Here is Wright on pages 86-87 of Moral Standards (all emphasis added):

In modern society, association by direct personal contact has been supplemented and, so far as social organization is concerned, has been largely replaced by impersonal association and indirect contact. Now these activities of indirect contact and communication proceed through the intermediation and instrumentality of mechanical agencies. And these agencies themselves are extensions in the physical world of those bodily organs of inter-communication and personal association (…) possessed by every human being; namely, those of oral and written speech, of practical contrivance and construction, and of aesthetic perception and artistic creation. Hence these three activities of intercommunication (…) are fundamental in the double sense of determining both the direct personal association of human individuals with one another, and also the indirect association of millions of individuals as fellow citizens and fellow workers. (…) Moreover such chance as there is of giving personal value to indirect and impersonal contacts brought about by modern large scale social organization, and thereby making it a MEANS for realizing that comprehensive social community for which democracy stands, depends altogether upon our understanding this social machinery as an extension into the physical world of the three activities of personal intercommunication: [1] discussion [“oral and written speech“], and [2] cooperation [“of practical contrivance and construction”], and [3] imaginative sympathy [“aesthetic perception and artistic creation“].

Here is Wright again in 1937 in ‘Mechanism and Mind in Present-Day Social Life’, which he contributed to Manitoba Essays: Written in Commemoration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the University of Manitoba (ed Rupert Lodge):

  • Machine technology and the mechanical instruments it has devised for facilitating the outward activities and inter-play of human individuals on a large scale have had the effect of externalizing the interests and activities of man to such a degree that his inner, personal life is becoming impoverished and his spiritual faculties atrophied through disuse.
  • The enormous enlargement which radio and film have given to the scope and range and diversity of sensory stimulation is too obvious to need illustration. The same may be said of the effect of automobile, aeroplane, machine tools, electrical appliances, etc., upon man’s powers of outward action and motor performance. But no such adventitious aids have been supplied by the arts of technological invention to the inner interpretative processes of rational reflection and creative imagination. Thus, in a generation preoccupied with new ranges of sight and hearing, and fascinated by a variety of new mechanical tools and toys, these inner activities have for the time at least been relegated to the background and allowed to wither from neglect.
  • No more urgent or pressing problem confronts modern society than [the question] of the influence of mechanism and mechanical intermediaries upon the character and relations of men.
  • What measures it is practically wise to adopt, however, will depend upon the relation of mechanism and mechanical instrumentalities to the nature of man.
  • The characteristic activity of the human organism is not mechanical, topographical, and aggregative, but is rather dynamical, configurational and organismic.
  • The question [must be posed] of the influence on present-day social life and personal development of the newly invented machinery of social interaction and inter-communication.
  • The question [must further be posed] of how the technological instruments which in their great and amazing variety dominate our civilization and differentiate it from every previous stage of human history are related to human nature and the personal associations of men.
  • These technological instruments which have revolutionized the social life of man, from telephone and radio to automobile and aeroplane, from electrical household appliances to automatic machinery for (…) manufacture of economic goods and the reproduction of art products, are extensions through physical forces and mechanical intermediaries of man’s bodily organs.
  • Consider in the first place all mechanical devices for the transmission of fact and opinion: telegraph and telephone and radio, the newspaper and colour-press, billboard, illuminated sign, and news-reel. These are all of them MEANS of increasing through physical intermediaries the range both in space and time, and the social influence, of man’s powers of articulate speech, oral and written.
  • These are one and all mechanical MEANS for making available for popular appreciation and enjoyment on a practically unlimited scale the products of man’s powers of emotional expression and aesthetic perception. Now if this is a fact, and I do not see how it can be denied, there follow from it consequences of genuine, far-reaching social importance. The products of modern science and invention are not correctly understood as belonging to another, alien world, a world of matter and mechanism, forever separate and divorced by essential nature from that other inner realm in which alone are realized the distinctively human and truly personal values, such as truth, practical goodness and beauty, the “imponderables” of the spirit. On the contrary, they, like the organic agencies whose power and range they enormously augment, are in veritable fact projections of human personality itself and [the potential] MEANS of satisfying the distinctively personal interests of man.
  • These mechanical instruments and devices which dominate the modern social scene (…) are veritable extensions of the powers of human personality and effective [potential] MEANS for the co-operative realization of the most comprehensive and enduring values of personal and social life.

McLuhan’s entire intellectual life might well be understood as the extended interrogation of Wright’s observations:

  • “the inner interpretative processes” —  how are these to be specified? what field encompasses them? how does this field of Wright’s “inner realm”1 feed back into its own investigation? if all specification falls within the field, how begin it without already having begun it? how get out of the endless circularity that seems to be implied here? the maelstrom… 
  • our “inner, personal life is becoming impoverished and [our] spiritual faculties atrophied” — since humans can never not exercise their “inner interpretative processes”, their “spiritual faculties”, how could these “processes” ever become “impoverished” and “atrophied”? how is this even a possibility for humans? what does such a possibility imply about the complex nature of human being?2
  • and how does this possibility feed back into the investigation of such questions? could investigation itself become “impoverished”? is the “Waste Land” first of all a matter of our “inner interpretative processes”?
  • “the influence of mechanism and mechanical intermediaries” — can investigation into media (“understanding media”) prove to be an Ariadne’s thread for the labyrinth of these questions?



  1. McLuhan’s later “interior landscape”.
  2. Wright suggests that there are different “fundamental” possibilities that originally structure human experience: “The characteristic activity of the human organism is not mechanical, topographical, and aggregative, but is rather dynamical, configurational and organismic.” What does ‘characteristic’ mean here? How does an individual or society ‘switch’ between these modes? What sort of time or times is implicated here?

WSCM 5: Watson Kirkconnell

Watson Kirkconnell (1895-1977), a professor of English and Classics in Winnipeg, was a family friend of the McLuhans who is mentioned repeatedly in the Cambridge correspondence between McLuhan and his mother. McLuhan would have known him growing up in the 1920s. Later, Kirkconnell and McLuhan became correspondents themselves. Kirkconnell sent an offprint of his article ‘Icelandic-Canadian Poetry’ from the 1934 Dalhousie Review to McLuhan in Cambridge:

Published in the same issue was Rupert Lodge’s ‘Philosophy and Education‘, a paper on which McLuhan worked with Lodge (as Kirkconnell may well have known) — an essay providing a threefold theory of education that McLuhan would flesh out with a 2000 year history of the trivium in his PhD thesis a decade later.

At the Manitoba Historical Society website, Kirkconnell’s entry among ‘Memorable Manitobans‘ describes him as follows (click to enlarge):

He was Professor of English at Wesley College in Winnipeg from 1922 to 1930 and head of the classics department there from 1930 to 1940. He then led the federal government’s “Nationalities Branch” (which became the Citizenship Bureau) during the Second World War. He also headed the Humanities Research Council in 1943 and the Baptist Federation of Canada in 1944.
After a period at McMaster University [immediately after the war], he was President of Acadia University from 1948 to 1964. He wrote 40 books, 130 brochures, and 600 articles, as well as innumerable translations from some of the 50 languages with which he was familiar. He was particularly important in translating Ukrainian and Icelandic poets into English.

A NYT article from August 20, 2022, reported  on ‘Canada’s Growing Linguistic Diversity‘. But a full century before this, Kirkconnell, at Wesley College  (later United College and ultimately the University of Winnipeg) was already investigating and celebrating this mosaic.

Following his presidency of the Humanities Research Council of Canada, he remained an influential figure in the organization, authoring its 1947 history and contemporary overview, The Humanities in Canada, with A.S.P. Woodhouse, chair of the UT English department. Between 1937 and 1965 Kirkconnell contributed an annual review ‘Publications in Other Languages’ to the University of Toronto Quarterly.

The Kirkconnell room at the WSCM includes blowups of many of his books along with photos of him. Correspondence between Kirkconnell and McLuhan from the Kirkconnell papers at Acadia (some of which is cited in Gordon’s Escape into Understanding bio) and from the McLuhan letters at York is featured. The University of Manitoba also has some Kirkconnell materials.

One Hundred Poems Chosen and Translated from European Literatures in Fifty Languages. Watson Kirkconnell, 1928.

Canadian Overtones: An anthology of Canadian poetry written originally in Icelandic, Swedish,  Norwegian, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, and Ukrainian, and now translated and edited with biographical, historical, critical, and bibliographical notes by Watson Kirkconnell. Published in Winnipeg in 1935.

WSCM 4: Tom Easterbrook

McLuhan graduated from Kelvin in 1928:

He then entered the University of Manitoba School of Engineering, later reporting that he was looking for a way to support himself while he went about his real work of research and writing. But the deeper reason for his choice of Engineering may have been his need to extricate himself from his father’s impractical lyricism and his mother’s literary caricatures. However that may have been, McLuhan’s one year in Engineering brought him a lifelong friend in Tom Easterbrook.1

Tom and I both started off [university] in Engineering [in the fall of 1928] and because of our long periods of study during the summer, we were able to upgrade ourselves into Arts. I read myself out of Engineering by my long summer [of 1929].

This was McLuhan in 1970, forty years later, in Speaking of Winnipeg:

Again in Speaking of Winnipeg, the two described the argumentative rambles they took at the time:

We had an absolute agreement between ourselves to disagree about everything and this kept up (…) a very hot dialogue from morning to night for years in Winnipeg which carried us on foot across town at night, late at night till three or four in the morning, back and forth across the city.

The McLuhans lived south of the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg, the Easterbrooks north.

It was during their UM days, apparently in 1931, that McLuhan came to read G.K Chesterton through Easterbrook. This provided one of the initial steps towards McLuhan’s conversion in 1937 and became the subject of his first academic paper in 1936: ‘G.K. Chesterton: A Practical Mystic‘:

Another contributor to the issue was Harold Innis — when the issue appeared Innis was Easterbrook’s adviser at Toronto and increasingly his good friend.

In 1932 McLuhan and Easterbrook toured England together, working their way across the Atlantic on a cattle boat. This mode of transportation seems to have been popular option for young Winnipigeons at the time, doubtless due to Winnipeg’s role as the collection point for rail shipments between eastern and western Canada. Five years earlier Hayakawa got to Montreal in the same way. As recounted in his oral history:

Soon after graduating with my B.A. from the University of Manitoba, Gerard, Professor Allison’s oldest son, and I decided to take a cattle train to Montreal for a summer adventure. I cannot reconstruct how or where we had our meals on that train or where we slept. The reason we were getting a free ride across the continent is that, in the event of a train derailment or wreck, the cattle would start running away and the railroad wanted a few extra men on the train to help recapture them. We really had nothing to do — no duties — except in the event of a train wreck and escaping cattle.

After their UM degrees, McLuhan and Easterbrook continued their studies, McLuhan at Cambridge and Easterbrook at the University of Toronto. That Easterbrook’s advisor was Harold Innis  decisively impacted McLuhan’s career when Easterbrook brought Innis and McLuhan together in 1948. Meanwhile,  McLuhan in Cambridge and Easterbrook in Toronto remained in close contact through McLuhan’s mother and brother, who had moved from Winnipeg to Toronto and knew Easterbrook well through Marshall in Winnipeg.2

The Innis connection via Easterbrook would prove essential to McLuhan’s later work. For it was Innis who brought McLuhan to concentrate, not on ideas as he had in his PhD thesis on the educational trivium, but on the embodied ideas of technology. He came to see how human beings live in their ideas through technology — beginning with language.

In the 1950s Easterbrook was one of the 5 professors leading the Culture and Communication seminar — three of them from Winnipeg (McLuhan, Easterbrook and Carl Williams) with their trilateral relationship going back a quarter of a century. McLuhan’s career as a communications guru may have started as a lark between them.

Perhaps incidentally, McLuhan offered this description of the prairie meadowlark in his conversation with Easterbrook in Speaking of Winnipeg:

We might as well have a few words about the superiority of the prairie meadowlark to all other songbirds (…) it has a much longer and almost melodic phrase. It isn’t a mere chirp; it has a melody. It talks to you. Besides it is extremely musical. It’s not just the solid glug-glug of the nightingale [championed by uninformed ornithologists like John Keats]. By comparison with the birds I’ve heard in Europe and England, it is enormously superior.

Like his friend and mentor, Harold Innis, Easterbrook went on to became chairman of the Political Economy department in Toronto.  In 1960 he and McLuhan lectured together at the annual meeting of the Economic History Association. Innis had been one of its founders in 1940 and its second president in 1942.

After McLuhan’s death at the end of 1980, Easterbrook expressed his regret that their relationship had been so argumentative. But their gapped complementarity on everything doubtless benefited them both in multiple ways and served as the cement in their half century friendship.


  1. In his oral history Easterbrook recalled that they actually met the next year, 1930, after both had quit engineering for Economics (Easterbrook) and English (McLuhan).
  2. Elsie and Maurice McLuhan left Winnipeg for Toronto at the same time that Easterbrook did. He began grad studies at UT in the fall of 1933 and Elsie and Maurice decamped in September that year.

    Elsie announced her departure with this press release. It appeared in the Winnipeg Evening Tribune for September 9, 1933, p4.

WSCM 3: Carl Williams & Kelvin

McLuhan and Carlton Williams were in the same year at Kelvin Technical High School in the mid 1920s. Displays include:

  • KTHS yearbook cover for 1927-1928
  • Pages from the yearbook of  McLuhan’s and Williams’ classes with student pictures

The two then attended the University of Manitoba together.

  • Pages from the University of Manitoba yearbook with graduation pictures of McLuhan and Williams

In the 1950s McLuhan and Williams were University of Toronto  professors, McLuhan in English and Williams  in Psychology. They were two of the 5 faculty group leading the Culture and Communication seminar between 1953 and 1955.

  • Blowup of Explorations journal page listing the seminar’s 5 faculty leaders

It was Williams who instigated the notion of ‘auditory space’ (McLuhan’s ‘acoustic space’) in a seminar session in 1954:

Williams became part of the University of Toronto administration and then President of the University of Western Ontario ( now Western University). His biography from the Western website:

McLuhan and Williams remained close friends until McLuhan’s death at the end of 1980. Williams’ obituary of McLuhan is included in the memorial volume Who Was Marshall McLuhan:


WSCM anteroom: peace in the global village?

The anteroom of the WSCM has only two displays. The first is a large poster (or posters) with a description of the museum:

The Winnipeg School of Communication has local importance recalling now forgotten chapters of Winnipeg’s twentieth century history:

  • The downtown University of Manitoba campus
  • The outstanding people who taught at UM in those days and their outstanding pupils like S.I. Hayakawa , Marshall McLuhan, Tom Easterbrook and Carlton Williams.

Hayakawa (later the President of San Francisco State University and US Senator for California) and McLuhan were neighbours in the 1920s in Fort Rouge and remained in intermittent touch for the next half century. McLuhan and Easterbrook (later chairman of the Political Economy Department at the University of Toronto) were University of Manitoba classmates who toured England together in 1932. Williams (later President of the University of Western Ontario) was in the same year as McLuhan at Kelvin and the two continued at UM together. The personal and professional relationship of McLuhan, Easterbrook and Williams lasted the rest of their lives. And they were 3 of the 5 professors — McLuhan in English, Easterbrook in Political Economy and Williams in Psychology — who led the Culture and Communication seminar at the University of Toronto in the 1950s. It was this seminar and its Explorations journal which provided the springboard for McLuhan’s renowned communications work in 1960s and ’70s.

This museum tells the multimedia story of these people, of their importance to communications theory and of their multiple interactions with one another.

But is the Winnipeg School of Communication of only local and historical interest?

McLuhan famously foresaw a world of generalized warfare, universal spying, cultural breakdown, and the hijacking of entire nations — a world in which human survival comes into question. Ominously, he was not mistaken. The global dystopia he predicted 70 years ago is increasingly upon us today.

At the same time, however, McLuhan attempted to describe an exit strategy, a ‘strategy for survival’. And it is here that the international — not local — and contemporary — not past — interest of the Winnipeg School is to be located. What is  the possibility of peace in the global village under nuclear conditions?

Seeds of an investigation of that question were planted in Winnipeg over 100 years ago. But its implementation has hardly started to this day, despite all the work of the Winnipeg School. Hence its development remains an urgent matter for the future — if we are to have a future.

Another poster cites McLuhan’s first mention of the ‘global village’ from a speech given in Winnipeg in 1959:

Another aspect of the (…) instantaneous flow of information from every part of a situation, from every quarter, is that we develop a new attitude to space, a new attitude to time. The globe becomes a very small village-like affair, under electronic conditions, in which whatever happens to anybody, happens to everybody; and living in this very small new space, as it were, causes us paradoxically to take very long views, in the matter of time. (‘New Business Rules In Our Electronic Age’, a speech before the Winnipeg Ad and Sales Club, May 11, 1959)


WSCM 2: Gertrude Avenue connection

  • Map showing 507 Gertrude and 600 Gertrude
  • Pictures of the two houses
  • Blowups of Henderson’s City Directory for Winnipeg in 1924 showing the McLuhans at 507 Gertrude and the Allisons at 600 Gertrude
  • Blowup of Hayakawa oral history (with sound?): “I had two close friends, Gerard and Carlyle Allison, and they had a little sister, Mary Josephine. Well, when Father [moved back to Japan and] established his head offices in Osaka, and Mother and my sisters were taken along afterwards to stay with him, I moved in with the Allisons. (…) Have I told you about the Allisons? He was professor of English, William Talbot Allison. (…) Did you enjoy staying with this family, the Allisons? I enjoyed it so much I’m still in touch with them. Papa and Mama [Allison] are dead long ago, but their — they had three children, two boys and a girl. I just talked within the last couple of days to one of the boys, who is long, long retired and quite ill. We’re still in touch [in 1988, over 60 years later!]. And the daughter, I was also on the phone with her a few days ago. How long did you live with them? About two years. Your nickname was Hak, then? Yes.”
  • Blowup of pages from In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa: “In 1924, Ichiro Hayakawa [S.I. Hayakawa’s father] decided to relocate his firm’s main operation [from Canada] to Japan (…) Hayakawa’s two sons [Sam and Fred] remained in Canada, not only because it was their choice but because both parents recognized that Samuel [nicknamed ‘Hak’] and Fred weren’t culturally Japanese. (…) Hak, meanwhile, moved in with the family of one of his professors at the University of Manitoba, William Talbot Allison (…) Allison’s sons (…) had been two of Hak’s closest (…) friends (…) Another of his chums was the neighborhood paperboy, a youngster named Marshall McLuhan, whose path would cross Hayakawa’s several times in the decades to follow.”
  • Blowup of a Trib page from 1927 showing McLuhan as a paperboy. McLuhan is in the picture on the right, back left:
  • Blowup of a letter from Hayakawa to McLuhan in 1968, 40 years later:
  • July 7, 1968
    Dear Marshall —
    I heard to my sorrow that you have been ill, and I heard more recently that you are well again. I hope you have received an invitation from St Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., to take part in a philosophical symposium. They wanted me, and I accepted in the hope that you too would accept so that our paths might cross again.
    What’s this I hear about a McLuhan Newsletter? How do I get on the mailing list?
    Best wishes, as always.
    Yrs etc, Don [Hak’s later nickname]
    I was in Winnipeg June 13-19. My 1st visit in  35 years! My gosh, how we have all changed!

WSCM 1: Winnipeg in 1920

The first room of a real and/or virtual Winnipeg School of Communication Museum has blowups of the following journal and newspaper reports:

There are pictures of Winnipeg at that time, particularly of the University of Manitoba downtown campus and a map showing the locations of the university buildings.

There is a picture of S.I. Hayakawa (identifying him as the future President of San Francisco State University and US Senator from California) and a blowup (potentially with sound) of his oral history recording at the University of California:

“I graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1926. (…) The University of Manitoba wasn’t much in those days (…) no building that we ever went to is part of the University of Manitoba now. In fact, all those buildings have probably been torn down. (…) It wasn’t really a campus at all. In the first place, many of the classes were held in what used to be law offices, but the lawyers had moved on to better sites, offices somewhere else. Some of the buildings we had at the University of Manitoba were — I don’t know if you call them quonset huts or something of that kind. They were temporary shelters, and the real building of the university with its own buildings didn’t happen until long after I left Winnipeg. (…) At that time, the University, having no buildings of its own, conducted its classes in abandoned law offices a block or two away from the provincial parliament buildings.”


Wright on matter and spirit in 1917

Henry Wright, three years away from the beginning of his long career at the University of Manitoba, wrote a short commentary that appeared  in the 1917 Journal of Philosophy.1 In it he broached topics he would continue to investigate throughout his  tenure in Winnipeg and that would recognizably shape the subsequent career of one of his students there, Marshall McLuhan2:

the distinction between spirit and matter— ontological dualism, as it may be — stands and is destined to stand as a reasonable inference from the most persistent and essential distinction that reveals itself in human experience. (…) In one department of (…) experience (…) human activity (…) is self-determined. (…) In the other department (…) activity [is] strictly limited, definitively circumscribed by conditions external to itself.3

Multiple questions are posed. What fundamental distinctions characterize ontology? Does it have two “departments” as “ontological dualism”? Or must an ontological 2 be at least 3 since a further “department” must be present that would both keep the 2 distinct and yet relate them to each other as equiprimordial? What are the relations of such ‘distinct’ ontological “departments” both ‘horizontally’ among themselves and ‘vertically’ to the experienced (ontic) world? And what are the relations of these “departments” as expressed within the ontic world itself?

Now the philosophical tradition, according to Wright, has admittedly opened itself to

the charge of intellectualism (…) which could yield nothing better than conceptual abstractions such as “the good” or “substance” or “the absolute”4

But behind this “intellectualism” and these “conceptual abstractions” was a proper aim at a needed goal:

not in making such distinctions as that of spirit from matter, but in attempting to reconcile the conflicting factors…5

The key to reconciliation, according to Wright, lies not in the opposed distinctions themselves but in their interrelation:

The true solution for the distinction of matter from spirit (…) is to be found through a study of (…) social life.6 The word “social” deserves emphasis…7

Now such study must not, says Wright, hold “the factor of originality in abeyance”. This remark, almost an aside,  implies many fundamental questions, but they were not developed here by Wright. What is “originality”? Is it singular or plural? How does it (or they) stand to the “ontological”? And to the ontic subject? Lastly: just what is “abeyance” and how does it stand to all the questions in play here?8

Further from Wright:

The reconciling experience which we seek can be found clearly revealed only in (…) social activities9 (…). Such an activity is that of verbal communication (…) Another (…) is (…) the intricate system of activities which engage [us] together in the work of the world (…) A third example of the kind of activity in question is that of esthetic appreciation (…) [at work in the] apprehension of new meanings and values…10

Wright raised these problems in a rambling old-fashioned sort of way that McLuhan would explicitly reject. But the problems themselves engaged him deeply such that his whole career may usefully be seen as an investigation into the questions precipitated by Wright’s issues.

  1. Henry Wilkes Wright, ‘Spirit and Matter: A Reply To Dr. Dashiell‘, Journal of Philosophy, 14:15, July 1917, 400-403.
  2. Comments on McLuhan’s takes on Wright are given in the notes below.
  3. Wright, some sentences later: “Two factors are operating in human experience. These two factors are (…) rational will and (…) objective reality.
  4. Nothing better than (…) “the good”!
  5. The great question, of course, is whether this is something we can accomplish with our limited means in chronological time or is it something we must attend in its already realized accomplishment before us? Or is it both of these together, where we can indeed accomplish important reconciliations in many areas, but are able to do so on the basis only (only!) of always already accomplished reconciliations before us?
  6. Wright has “(hu)man’s developing social life” here. McLuhan would come to see that the chronological aspect of ‘developing’ is highly questionable and, indeed, must be investigated as a figure against the ground of “allatonceness”. Further, “social life” itself must be probed. Is it purely ontic as “(hu)man’s developing social life”? Or is it first of all ontological as the abysmal principle of a thought-provoking plurality (or society) of distinctions in reality itself? Or is it both of these together as the primordial bond, or bonds, between ontological distinctions, AND the isomorphic bonds between ontological grounds and their ontic figures, AND the isomorphic bonds between the ontological distinctions as they are expressed ontically? In chemistry these same relations appear between elements in Mendeleev’s table and their expression in and as materials.
  7. Wright’s “social” will become, 40 years later, McLuhan’s “the medium (that) is the message”.
  8. The etymology of ‘abeyance’ traces back to ‘gape, open wide’ — as its cognate word ‘bay’ is to the sea. Ultimately, this will be McLuhan’s “gap where the action is”.
  9. Wright: “in our more highly developed social activities”. See note #6.
  10. Like Wright’s other areas of “reconciling” activity, language use and social activities, his “esthetic appreciation” as the “apprehension of new meanings and values” is a matter of the between — in this case the between bridging old and new “meanings” and old and new “values”. But what is the nature of this mediating between? Of this “medium“? Where and when does it arise, what is the manner of its operation and what is the variated range of its activity?