William Leiss Bio
(b. 1939), Professor, School of Policy Studies
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario (Leiss's
- one of Herbert's students at Brandeis (M.A. in the History of Ideas
Program, 1963), and UCSD (Ph.D., 1969)
- author of, among many other titles (his
site's book list),
The Domination of Nature (1974, reprinted 1994).
- "Husserl and the Mastery of Nature," in Telos no.
5 (Spr. 1970)
- author of a response to a review of One Dimensional Man in
the NYRB in 1964 (archive
- Nov. 24, 2011 autobiographical interview published in CTheory magazine.
- On his profile page as director of the Royal Society of Canada, we
find the following anecdote: "Marcuse,
who had learned his own craft with two of the most famous philosophers
of the twentieth century, Husserl and Heidegger, before fleeing from Germany
in 1932, ran his evening graduate seminars thus: When the door closed on
the room the outside world was suspended (the world in which many of us
had spent the preceding day in antiwar activities) and the 'text' was opened
before us. In the seminar I remember best, the text was the section known
as the 'Doctrine of Essence' in Hegel's Greater Logic, the section that
begins with the chapter on 'Being and Nothing.' We students were asked
in turn to read a sentence and say what we thought it meant in our own
words. In the course of a three-hour seminar we covered on average five
pages of text; this seminar lasted twenty weeks, so after eight months
of wrenching effort we had completed a hundred pages. When we complained,
we were told that in the 1920s Marcuse had attended Heidegger's seminar
on Aristotle's Metaphysics, and in six months the class never got beyond
the first page of the Greek text. But that class (and we) learned how to
read a difficult text."