John Benton

John Benton

“This is worth a life…”1The Irish linguist and translator, Stephen McKenna (1872–1934), wrote this in his diary on his 38th birthday before commencing his translation of Plotinus' Enneads.


John Benton's time as both a philosopher and teacher spans over forty years. His career in language began with employment in both print and broadcast media in and around his native Toronto, Canada in the early 1970s. His interest in language branched into both philosophy and the performing arts sometime between obtaining a degree in English Literature at Toronto’s York University (1977), and joining Canada’s Stratford Festival (1980).

During that time, he had been newly introduced to Bernard Lonergan's three leading ideas2Generalized Empirical Method, Functional Collaboration and Political Economy and was very fortunate from the beginning that this pursuit was mediated by Philip McShane, the foremost authority on Lonergan’s thought. Gradually, McShane's mentoring inspired Benton to channel his efforts into teaching, and along the way, tackle the challenge of introducing two of Lonergan's ideas to ground a principal of integration in the broad field of language studies. It was a preoccupation that would more or less co-exist with teaching post-secondary prep courses in English and Dramatic Arts beginning in 1992.

When the opportunity arose to teach Philosophy in 2004, phase one of that principal would emerge in the collaborative textbook, Introducing Critical Thinking (2005). It would be expanded to ground phase two of that principal in a companion work, Shaping the Future of Language Studies (2008). Benton plans to bring this project full circle with an expanded reach toward a full heuristics of basic linguistics and basic grammar in the future publication, The Dawn of Linguistic Feedback.

In the meantime, he and colleague Terrance Quinn have established this website hoping to attract the earnest attention and engagement of youth everywhere, particularly, those whose professional life will eventually lead to inheriting the difficult responsibility of shaping our global future.

June 30, 2017


  • M.A.

    Vermont College, Norwich University, Montpelier, Vermont, 2003. Philosophy of Language

  • H.Sp.

    University of Toronto, Ontario, 1997. English

  • B.Ed.

    Brock University, Ontario, 1992. Ontario Teacher's Certificate

  • B.A.

    York University, Ontario, 1977. English


  • 1992-2012

    • Secondary Teacher (English, Dramatic Arts, Philosophy), Bluewater District School Board, Owen Sound, Ontario
  • 1989-1991

    • Broadcaster, Bayshore Broadcasting, Owen Sound, Ontario
  • 1980-1986

    • Actor (Stage & Film), Stratford & Toronto, Ontario
  • 1972-1973

    • Broadcaster, Niagara District Broadcasting, St. Catharines, Ontario
  • 1970-1971

    • Apprentice, Promotions & Creative Services, Toronto Telegram, Toronto, Ontario

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