Friedrich Nietzsche is typically seen as a radical critic of the western philosophical tradition. This article considers why this image is so widely accepted. It argues that part of the reason for its acceptance is that Nietzsche paints a picture of himself as the independent, radical innovator in his later writings. If we look at the works of the middle period, we find that by contrast, he repeatedly situates himself within wider traditions and discusses what he has learned from them.
This chapter briefly reviews the link between Charles Taylor's life and work. It then discusses his position on the role of science in understanding human behavior. It concludes by considering the relationship between theory and practice in Taylor's thought.
This article examines the 2008 report of the Quebec Government’s Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences which was co-authored by Charles Taylor. Summarizing its main themes, it identifies points of intersection with Taylor’s political thought. Issues of citizen equality, including gender equality, secularism, integration and interculturalism, receive special attention.
This article examines the attempts by John Rawls in the works published after "Political Liberalism" to engage with some of the feminist responses to his work. Rawls goes a long way toward addressing some of the major feminist-liberal concerns. Yet this has the unintended consequence of pushing justice as fairness in the direction of a more comprehensive, rather than a strictly political, form of liberalism. This does not seem to be a problem peculiar to Rawls: rather, any form of liberalism (...) hospitable to feminist concerns must be, at the very least, a partly comprehensive, rather than a strictly political, doctrine. (shrink)
: This article considers what contribution the work of John Rawls can make to questions about animal ethics. It argues that there are more normative resources in A Theory of Justice for a concern with animal welfare than some of Rawls's critics acknowledge. However, the move from A Theory of Justice to Political Liberalism sees a depletion of normative resources in Rawlsian thought for addressing animal ethics. The article concludes by endorsing the implication of A Theory of Justice that we (...) look for ways other than rights discourse to respect and protect the well-being of animals. (shrink)
Charles Taylor is beyond question one of the most distinctive figures in the landscape of contemporary philosophy. In a time of increasing specialization Taylor's ability to contribute to philosophical conversations across a wide spectrum of ideas is distinctive and impressive. These areas include moral theory, theories of subjectivity, political theory, epistemology, hermeneutics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and aesthetics. His most recent writings have seen him branching into the study of religion. Written by a team of international authorities, this (...) collection will be read primarily by students and professionals in philosophy, political science, religious studies, but will appeal to a broad swathe of professionals across the humanities and social sciences. (shrink)
This review article outlines some of the major contributions made to political theory by Charles Taylor. It focuses on his relationship to liberalism, his contribution to the understanding of democracy and his analysis of the politics of recognition. Several lines of critique of Taylor's thought on these issues are also explored. Some reflections on Taylor's style of theorising about politics are offered, and the question of whether he is a conservative or critical theorist is examined.
Charles Taylor is one of the most prolific and wide-ranging philosophers in the English-speaking world today. He writes with authority in the fields of moral theory, political philosophy, theories of language, the history of western thought, epistemology and hermeneutics. Currently an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at McGill University, he has enjoyed a distinguished academic career which includes being Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford University. He has also been active and influential in the politics of his native (...) Quebec, arguing passionately for recognition of Quebec as a distinct society, but against the province’s secession from Canada. For many years he has been a member of the New Democratic Party. The American philosopher Richard Rorty described him as ‘among the dozen most important philosophers writing today’ and one of North America’s ‘most thoughtful politicians’. He is interviewed here by Ruth Abbey. (shrink)
A combination of social forces has thrown marriage into question in westernised societies at the end of the millennium. This uncertainty creates space for new ways of thinking about marriage. In this context, we examine the idea of marriage as friendship. We trace its genealogy in the work of Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor and then subject it to critical scrutiny using some of Michel de Montaigne’s ideas. We ask how applic- able the ideal of higher friendship (...) is to marriage and what might be gained and lost by a synthesis of marriage and friendship. Grounding the discussion in historical sources is valuable because the topic is so little explored in the contemporary philosophical literature. This approach also allows any enduring value in these historical texts to be elicited. (shrink)
Ruth Abbey presents a close study of Nietzsche's works, Human, All Too Human, Daybreak, and The Gay Science. Although these middle period works tend to be neglected in commentaries on Nietzsche, they repay careful attention. Abbey's commentary brings to light important differences across Nietzsche's oeuvre that have gone unnoticed, filling a serious gap in the literature.
: If liberal theory is to move forward, it must take the political nature of family relations seriously. The beginnings of such a liberalism appear in Mary Wollstonecraft's work. Wollstonecraft's depiction of the family as a fundamentally political institution extends liberal values into the private sphere by promoting the ideal of marriage as friendship. However, while her model of marriage diminishes arbitrary power in family relations, she seems unable to incorporate enduring sexual relations between married partners.
One of the major purposes of this article is to show that friendship was one of Nietzsche's central concerns and that he shared Aristotle's belief that it takes higher and lower forms. Yet Nietzsche's interest in friendship is overlooked in much of the secondary literature. An important reason for this is that this interest is most evident in the works of his middle period, and these tend to be neglected in commentaries on Nietzsche. In the works of the middle period, (...) Nietzsche suggests that there is a close connection between friendship and selfhood, contending that an individual's friendships reflect something about his or her identity. Following Aristotle, he believes that friendship can make a significant contribution to self-knowledge and self-improvement, which are both closely associated with his notion of self-overcoming. Nietzsche encourages individuals to adopt an aesthetic approach to the self: they should refashion themselves by consolidating their strengths, minimising their weaknesses and developing themselves in new directions. The works of the middle period suggest, however, that not only can friendship foster self-overcoming, but that the talent for friendship is one of the marks of a higher human being. Recognising this requires some reconsideration of Nietzsche's putative individualism and the belief that he holds great individuals to be utterly independent and indifferent to the judgements of others. It also requires a revision of the common interpretation that he is unremittingly sceptical about pity and other forms of fellow-feeling. Yet while Nietzsche generalises about friendship in the works of the middle period and contrasts its superior and inferior forms, he remains sensitive to its particularity. He never adopts a wholly formulaic approach to this relationship, but recognises that difference and responsiveness to particularity are among its central characteristics. (shrink)
Despite its centrality for an understanding of Nietzsche's thought, the term ressentiment does not appear in his writings before Beyond Good and Evil. This article argues that the roots of the idea of ressentiment appear in his middle period writings when he discusses vanity [die Eitelkeit].
This article proposes a third way of reading Nietzsche's remarks on women, one that goes beyond misogyny and metaphor. Taking the depiction of women in the works of the middle period at face value shows that these works neither entirely demean women nor exclude them from the higher life. Nietzsche's middle period comprises HAH (1879-80, which includes "Assorted Opinions and Maxims" and "The Wanderer and His Shadow"), D (1881) and GS (1882). The works of this period do not disqualify women (...) from free spirithood, for some of their passages can be read as befitting some women of the future for this honour. (shrink)