Charles Taylor's transcendental arguments for liberal communitarianism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 24 (4):79-106 (1998)
This paper sees Charles Taylor's moral discourse as a version of liberal communitarianism, an attempt to reconcile liberalism and communitarianism, by examining his three transcendental arguments: the liberal transcendence from the parochial to the universal; the communi tarian transcendence from the instinctual to the ontological; and the theistic transcendence from the good to God. While this liberal communi tarianism absorbs some great insights from both liberalism and communi tarianism and overcomes some of their respective weaknesses, it fails to avoid their common dichotomy of the good and the right because Taylor's fundamentally communitarian commitment leads him to believe that there must be a universal ontological (religious or metaphysical) idea of the good as the foundation for any needed universal social and political idea of the right
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