Born in 1943, John Dale graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians in Ireland. On arriving in Vancouver in 1970, he obtained his basic flying license, followed by his commercial, instructor, soaring and ultralight licenses. He served as a 'flying doctor' in the Burns Lake area prior to working in the Arctic. As a medical practitioner in Nelson, he self-published Snowshoes & Stethoscopes: Tales of Medicine and Flying in the Canadian North (Daedalus Publishing 1997), primarily about his 12-year association with the Arctic as a doctor.

Dale subsequently published Notes from a Sidecar, a fairly light-hearted yet detailed examination of 20th century philosophy. It concerns the vagueness in philosophy in relation to the the real world of everyday decisions and encourages being comfortable with inexactitude. It does not require a detailed prior knowledge of philosophy but the author suggests "it will tax your brain to read it." The Nelson-based Dale studied, early in his life, with Wittgensteinian philosophers. His dialogue simultaneously takes the the reader on a motorcycle/sidecar trip on a Vulcan 1500 Kawasaki, with Hannigan sidecar, around the Selkirk Loop in BC/Washington/Idaho as a way to offset the serious thinking. John Hayes, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Limerick, Eire, writes: "Notes from a Sidecar records the adventures of a keen life-long enquirer interested in ascertaining what is 'out there', what is real. John Dale uses the records of other philosophical explorers throughout the ages to guide his path. He argues that unlike the motorcycle trips he also records and that regularly draw the narrative back to the security of what we take to be everyday reality, philosophical journeys lack clarity. They do not yield certainty. The oblique view from the sidecar is, in principle, not available to the cyclist and is an apt metaphor for the philosopher who is involved in the contortion of trying to circumscribe the limits of human knowledge while himself inevitably circumscribed by his own limitations as a human knower."

BOOKS:

Snowshoes & Stethoscopes: Tales of Medicine and Flying in the Canadian North (Daedalus Publishing 1997).

Notes from a Sidecar (Daedalus Publishing, 2005). $24.95 ISBN 1-4120-5910-0

[Daedalus Publishing Box 489, Nelson Bc V1L 5R3]

[BCBW 2005] "Medicine" "Philosophy"