TextsPhilosophy & the Human Sciences: Philosophical Papers, vol. 2
Who is Charles Taylor?Charles Taylor is a professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. For many years he was a professor of social & political theory at Oxford University. He is the author of many books, including a standard technical work on Hegel. Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity is a famous book appealing to a general academic readership.
Three features make Taylor an attractive choice for us.
This class focuses on language and how language works from the view of philosophical pragmatism. We will analyze 13 essays by Charles Taylor collected in Philosophy and the Human Sciences. Half of the essays treat language as such, the other half examines language as a social medium.
Here is a series of questions & answers to aid you in critically reading the essays collected in Philosophical Arguments.
#1: "Overcoming Epistemology"
#2: "The Validity of Transcendental Arguments"
#3: "Explanation & Practical Reason" (T. Kuhn)
#4: "Heidegger & Wittgenstein"
#5: "The Importance of Herder" (the linguistic turn; origins of language)
#6: "Heidegger, Language, & Ecology" (perhaps the best essay
in this collection)
#7: "Irreducibly Social Goods" (liberal social theory)
#8: skip this one
#9: "To Follow a Rule" (Wittgenstein & pragmatic epistemology)
#10: "Cross-Purposes: The Liberal--Communitarian Debate"
(Bentham vs. Ed. Burke)
#11: "Invoking Civil Society" (11, 13 & 12 are related; I prefer
#12: "The Politics of Recognition" (perhaps the 2nd best essay
#13: "Liberal Politics & the Public Sphere
More from Philosophy & the Human Sciences: Philosophical Papers 2 (1985):
#1: "Interpretation & the Sciences of Man"
#3: "Social Theory as Practice"
#4: "Understanding & Ethnocentricity"
#6: "Foucault on Freedom & Truth"
#10: "Legitimation Crisis?"