The ethics of identity: Lebow vs. Taylor

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A major and comprehensive study of the philosophy of Hegel, his place in the history of ideas, and his continuing relevance and importance. Professor Taylor relates Hegel to the earlier history of philosophy and, more particularly, to the central intellectual and spiritual issues of his own time. He sees these in terms of a pervasive tension between the evolving ideals of individuality and self-realization on the one hand, and on the other a deeply-felt need to find significance in a wider community. Charles Taylor engages with Hegel sympathetically, on Hegel's own terms and, as the the subject demands, in detail. We are made to grasp the interconnections of the system without being overwhelmed or overawed by its technicality. We are shown its importance and its limitations, and are enabled to stand back from it.
This chapter presents Charles Taylor's response to the preceding commentaries about his lecture. In response to Luling-Haughton's criticism of his choice of the word transcendence, he explains that he wanted to "open out the range of possibilities." In response to Elshtain's Trinitarian reflections, Taylor proceeds to explain that much of modern philosophy, and certainly Kant, has unfortunately turned "monological"; that is, it takes "very little account of the fact that human beings are plural, and even less of their difference." In response to Shea and Marsden, Taylor admits that in today's academy the Christian student and professor must breathe in an "atmosphere of unbelief," a fact about which there is neither sufficient reflection nor surprise. Taylor concludes his conversation with his respondents by asking why anger, even righteous anger, is so dangerous for the Christian scholar.
Re-Enchanting the World: An Examination of Ethics, Religion, and Their Relationship in the Work of Charles Taylor
  • D Mcpherson