Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Tribute to Charles Taylor

The current issue of "Philosophy & Social Criticism" (vol. 44 issue 7) contains 24 "short reflections" in honor of Charles Taylor's 85th birthday in November 2016.

All the contributions were published in the German journal "Transit. Europäische Revue" 49/2016.

Contents [pdf]

Introduction: Mapping Charles Taylor - Ulf Bohmann, Gesche Keding, Hartmut Rosa 

Abstract: The extensive, profound and influential oeuvre of Charles Taylor has inspired generations of thinkers. But how can we explore such a body of work? As we try to show in this Special Issue: by understanding him literally and making use of his notion of moral maps – or, differently put, by ‘mapping’ Charles Taylor. As he is far too modest a person to reveal to us his own moral atlas, we have decided to seize the occasion of his 85th birthday to ask several of his renowned colleagues, students and interlocutors to contribute to the reconstruction of such a map. This introduction develops three ‘mountain ridges’ in this cartography – a philosophical anthropology in spatial terms, the indispensable motif of dialogue, and the role of political life –, around which the following 24 illuminating appraisals are grouped.

1. A strong evaluator - Jocelyn Maclure

2. A capacious mind [preview] - Steven Lukes

3. Charles Taylor, today, yesterday, and tomorrow - William E. Connolly

4. The creature of language: Three postcards to Chuck [preview] - Eduardo Mendieta

5. The art of holding opposites together [preview] - Alessandro Ferrara

6. Seeing differently, or: How I discovered the Sources of the Self [preview] - Michael Kühnlein

7. Ordinary life [preview] - Nicholas H. Smith

8. Dialogical animals - James Tully

9. Charles Taylor as polemicist [preview] - Hans Joas

10. For Charles Taylor. An appreciation - Nancy Fraser

11. Charles Taylor and dramatic narrative. Argument and genre [preview] - Alasdair MacIntyre

12. Philosophy and self-expression [preview] [German text] - Arto Laitinen

13. Higher goods and common goods. Strong evaluation in social life [preview] - Maeve Cooke

14. Thinking better of ourselves - Craig Calhoun

15. Taylor’s Hegel - Axel Honneth

16. Encounters with and impulses from Charles Taylor [preview] - Ludwig Nagl

17. Enlarging the dialogue - Richard J. Bernstein

18. Resonance – A key concept in the philosophy of Charles Taylor [preview] - Jürgen Goldstein

19. Cultures of democracy [preview] [German text] - Darío Montero

20. Essays in retrieval. Charles Taylor as a theorist of historical change [preview] - Paolo Costa

21. Freedom – A silent but significant thread across Taylor’s oeuvre [preview] - Ruth Abbey

22. The power of recognition. When Charles Taylor parsed personal identity [preview] - Amy Gutmann

23. Charles Taylor at the front line in Canadian politics [preview] - Guy Laforest

24. A letter to an old friend and colleague on his birthday - Jürgen Habermas

Excerpt: "There is a simple explanation for my undying interest in your continuously evolving philosophical work: in my view, we still pursue the same project, although perhaps from opposing vantage points by now. At any rate, we continue to be linked by the same topics, beginning with the “politics of recognition” in our multicultural immigrant societies up to the more profound historical and philosophical debate on religion as one of the still-living spiritual manifestations of the present age. Your third major book, A Secular Age, has once again shown that you remain far ahead of my own thinking. Moreover, since 1996 I have not only understood the theoretical impact of your Catholic background much more clearly, but also the reason for our opposing perspectives: what from my point of view separates a secular from a religious self-understanding, namely the unreserved openness to fallibility and rational discourse across the board, appears to mean from your point of view a nongeneralizable element of just one among the many context-bound and incessantly competing worldviews. If, however, as you believe, this pluralism of worldviews (which we can reasonably expect to remain unresolved) is precisely what characterizes the unabatedly particularistic self-understanding of modernity, then I imagine you can live with our amicable disagreements quite well. For the future, I wish you more of the same energy and clear mind you have shown as a philosophical wanderer thus far."

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