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Review article: Charles Taylor on the self, its languages and its history

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Taylor's project is vastly ambitious. He has touched impressively, though not decisively, on how widely or how narrowly contexts of texts should be defined. It is clear that his construal is very wide indeed, for he has extended the philosopher's canon by including ‘poietics’ as an essential part of understanding the present state of moral thought, but not as holding any special call on us as a morally-driven aesthetic. He also has expanded the historical context by drawing imaginatively from the languages of specific discourses to suggest that these have been languages of moral inquiry reaching their way to the present. Lastly, he has claimed that there need be no necessary conflict between a historical account of the present state of moral philosophy and a strongly held moral position.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of British Columbia.

Publication date: 1991-02-01

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