Charles Taylor on art and moral sources : a pragmatist re-evaluation
AbstractThe thesis examines Charles Taylor's theory of agency and the moral sources that he believes inform our modern notion of the self. Taylor's concept of the strong evaluator is outlined and brought to bear on post-structuralist and postmodernist literary-theoretical positions that attempt to reconcile amoral positions and nonagency with multicultural political demands and the demands of what Taylor calls a "culture of authenticity". In order to do full justice to a theory of art that would incorporate Taylor's concept of agency, however, it becomes necessary to critique the philosopher's account of art, which he derives from widely held doctrines of Romanticism and aesthetic autonomy found in the Western tradition. The concept of a pragmatist approach to art serves as the main argument against Taylor's views, which exclude certain agents and their social experiences. Those agents who do not subscribe to Romantic and high Modernist ideas about art's function can often be said to adopt a pragmatic critique, which takes into account the uses of art in defining modern identities, and exposes the social privilege that has typically accompanied the autonomy that art has been awarded.
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References found in this work
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Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Form and Funk: The Aesthetic Challenge of Popular Art.Richard Shusterman - 1991 - British Journal of Aesthetics 31 (3):213-213.
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