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Philosophical Arguments

Philosophical Arguments

Charles Taylor

ISBN 9780674664777

Publication date: 03/25/1997

Charles Taylor is one of the most important English-language philosophers at work today; he is also unique in the philosophical community in applying his ideas on language and epistemology to social theory and political problems. In this book Taylor brings together some of his best essays, including "Overcoming Epistemology," "The Validity of Transcendental Argument," "Irreducibly Social Goods," and "The Politics of Recognition." As usual, his arguments are trenchant, straddling the length and breadth of contemporary philosophy and public discourse.

The strongest theme running through the book is Taylor's critique of disengagement, instrumental reason, and atomism: that individual instances of knowledge, judgment, discourse, or action cannot be intelligible in abstraction from the outside world. By developing his arguments about the importance of "engaged agency," Taylor simultaneously addresses themes in philosophical debate and in a broader discourse of political theory and cultural studies. The thirteen essays in this collection reflect most of the concerns with which he has been involved throughout his career--language, ideas of the self, political participation, the nature of modernity. His intellectual range is extraordinary, as is his ability to clarify what is at stake in difficult philosophical disputes. Taylor's analyses of liberal democracy, welfare economics, and multiculturalism have real political significance, and his voice is distinctive and wise.

Praise

  • Among the leading philosophers of our time, Charles Taylor stands out for the sheer breadth of his interests and influence...Illuminating and rewarding.

    —David Miller, Times Literary Supplement

Author

  • Charles Taylor is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at McGill University. Author of The Language Animal, Sources of the Self, The Ethics of Authenticity, and A Secular Age, he has received many honors, including the Templeton Prize, the Berggruen Prize, and membership in the Order of Canada.

Book Details

  • 336 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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