This interview with Charles Taylor explores a central concern throughout his work, namely, his concern to ‘reenchant’ self and world through a careful examination of value as emanating from the world rather than from ourselves. It focuses especially on the status of his central doctrine of ‘strong evaluation’ against the background of mainstream meta-ethical theories, such as neo-Kantian constructivism and robust realist non-naturalism. Additionally, the relationship between Taylor’s theism and his moral–political philosophy is discussed. A key issue that (...) is examined is what ontological background picture can make sense of the strong evaluative experience of higher worth. Some other related issues that are explored revolve around Taylor’s papers ‘Disenchantment-Reenchantment’ and ‘Recovering the Sacred’, which tentatively explore the meaning of reenchantment. (shrink)
This instructional case explores ethical and leadership issues within the context of public accounting. The case examines one senior manager in a public accounting firm who failed to receive an anticipated promotion to partner and the resulting discussions and actions that follow. The primary objectives of the case are to increase students’ awareness of select ethical issues commonly faced by auditors as they attempt to serve the public trust, their clients, and their firms, and to consider their own value system (...) in relation to the issues identified in this case. The secondary learning objectives are to increase students’ knowledge of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct / IESBA Code of Ethics, encourage consideration of the impact of ethical and unethical behaviors by auditors on others within the profession, and illustrate how leadership within an organization influences the behaviors of others. (shrink)
This interview with Charles Taylor explores a central concern throughout his work, viz., his concern to confront the challenges presented by the process of ‘disenchantment’ in the modern world. It focuses especially on what is involved in seeking a kind of ‘re-enchantment.' A key issue that is discussed is the relationship of Taylor’s theism to his effort of seeking re-enchantment. Some other related issues that are explored pertain to questions surrounding Taylor’s argument against the standard secularization thesis (...) that views secularization as a process involving the ineluctable fading away of religion. Additionally, the relationship between Taylor’s religious views and his philosophical work is discussed. (shrink)
This is the first comprehensive evaluation of Charles Taylor's work and a major contribution to leading questions in philosophy and the human sciences as they face an increasingly pluralistic age. Charles Taylor is one of the most influential contemporary moral and political philosophers: in an era of specialisation he is one of the few thinkers who has developed a comprehensive philosophy which speaks to the conditions of the modern world in a way that is compelling to specialists in (...) various disciplines. This collection of specially commissioned essays brings together twelve distinguished scholars from a variety of fields to discuss critically Taylor's work. The topics range from the history of philosophy, to truth, modernity and postmodernity, theism, interpretation, the human sciences, liberalism, pluralism and difference. Taylor responds to all the contributions and re-articulates his own views. (shrink)
Charles Taylor is one of the most influential and prolific philosophers in the English-speaking world today. The breadth of his writings is unique, ranging from reflections on artificial intelligence to analyses of contemporary multicultural societies. This thought-provoking introduction to Taylor's work outlines his ideas in a coherent and accessible way without reducing their richness and depth. His contribution to many of the enduring debates within Western philosophy is examined and the arguments of his critics assessed. Taylor's reflections (...) on the topics of moral theory, selfhood, political theory and epistemology form the core chapters within the book. Ruth Abbey engages with the secondary literature on Taylor's work and suggests that some criticisms by contemporaries have been based on misinterpretations and suggests ways in which a better understanding of Taylor's work leads to different criticisms of it. The book serves as an ideal companion to Taylor's ideas for students of philosophy and political theory, and will be welcomed by the non-specialist looking for an authoritative guide to Taylor's large and challenging body of work. (shrink)
This 2003 book offers an interpretation of Heidegger's major work, Being and Time. Unlike those who view Heidegger as an idealist, Taylor Carman argues that Heidegger is best understood as a realist. Amongst the distinctive features of the book are an interpretation explicitly oriented within a Kantian framework and an analysis of Dasein in relation to recent theories of intentionality, notably those of Dennett and Searle. Rigorous, jargon-free and deftly argued this book will be necessary reading for all serious (...) students of Heidegger. (shrink)
Thomas Taylor in England, by K. Raine.--Thomas Taylor in America, by G. M. Harper.--Biographical accounts of Thomas Taylor.--Concerning the beautiful.--The hymns of Orpheus.--Concerning the cave of the nymphs.--A dissertation on the Eleusinian and Bacchic mysteries.--Introduction to The fable of Cupid and Psyche.--The Platonic philosopher's creed.--An apology for the fables of Homer.--Bibliography (p. -538).
A key aspect of transhumanist thought involves the modification or augmentation of human physical and mental capabilities—a form of intervention often encapsulated under the term "enhancement." This article provides an overview of the concept of enhancement, focusing on six major areas in which usages of the term become slippery and controversial: normal or species-typical functioning, therapeutics or healing, natural functioning, human nature, authenticity, and the ambiguity between "more" and "better." I argue that we need to be aware of the tendency (...) to embed the concept of enhancement within stark binary oppositions that seem perfectly reasonable at first glance, but that in fact yield little more than conceptual muddles if they are not handled carefully. (shrink)
The powerful qualities view of properties is currently enjoying a surge in popularity. Recently, I have argued that the standard version of the view is no different from a rival view: the pure powers position. I have also argued that the canonical version of the powerful qualities view faces the same problem as the pure powers view: the dreaded regress objection. Joaquim Giannotti disagrees. First, Giannotti thinks that the standard version of the powerful qualities view can be differentiated from the (...) pure powers view. Second, Giannotti argues that the powerful qualities view is not susceptible to the regress objection. Third, he argues that there is another reasonable version of the powerful qualities view available, which makes use of the notion of ‘aspects’. In this note, I respond to Giannotti. I argue that all three of Giannotti’s arguments are unsuccessful. (shrink)
Seeing one’s laptop to be missing, hearing silence and smelling fresh air; these are all examples of perceptual experiences of absences. In this paper I discuss an example of absence perception in the tactual sense modality, that of tactually perceiving a tooth to be absent in one’s mouth, following its extraction. Various features of the example challenge two recently-developed theories of absence perception: Farennikova’s memory-perception mismatch theory and Martin and Dockic’s meta-cognitive theory. I speculate that the mechanism underlying the experience (...) is a body schema that has failed to update itself. (shrink)
This article explores how the acceptance of the battered woman syndrome as the explanation for why abusive relationships continue can be understood as a cultural compromise. The syndrome's portrayal of battered women as passive victims resulted in an exclusive definition of who “counts” as a victim. It further emphasized many abused women's weaknesses rather than their resourcefulness and overlooked the plights of a great variety of women in need of help. More important, it placed emphasis on individualized solutions for domestic (...) violence rather than addressing structural inequalities in American society. These issues ultimately led to a critique by other advocates of the battered woman syndrome as an inadequate and flawed explanation for domestic violence. Yet despite its weaknesses, the syndrome allowed advocates the chance to appeal to the larger public and, ultimately, begin the process of alleviating structural inequalities. (shrink)
Maurice Merleau-Ponty is one of the most important philosophers of the Twentieth century. His theories of perception and the role of the body have had an enormous impact on the humanities and social sciences, yet the full scope of his contribution not only to phenomenology but philosophy generally is only now becoming clear. In this lucid and comprehensive introduction, Taylor Carman explains and assesses the full range of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy. Beginning with an overview of Merleau-Ponty’s life and work, subsequent (...) chapters cover fundamental aspects of Merleau-Ponty’s thought, including his philosophy of perception and intentionality; the role of the body in relation to perception; philosophy of history and culture; and his writings on art and aesthetics, particularly the work of Cezanne. A final chapter considers Merleau-Ponty’s importance today, examining his philosophy in light of recent developments in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Merleau-Ponty is essential reading for students of phenomenology, existentialism and Twentieth century philosophy. It is also ideal for anyone in the humanities and social sciences seeking an introduction to his work. (shrink)
Over the coming century, the accelerating advance of bioenhancement technologies, robotics, and artificial intelligence may significantly broaden the qualitative range of sentient and intelligent beings. This article proposes a taxonomy of such beings, ranging from modified animals to bioenhanced humans to advanced forms of robots and AI. It divides these diverse beings into three moral and legal categories—animals, persons, and presumed persons—describing the moral attributes and legal rights of each category. In so doing, the article sets forth a framework for (...) extending the concept of personhood well beyond its current boundaries, assigning moral standing to a variety of biological and nonbiological beings. The author concludes that six of the eight subgroups of such beings deserve to be treated as persons or as if they were persons, with full consideration for their presumed interests, rights, obligations, and capabilities for ethically significant agency and patiency. (shrink)
For Descartes, knowledge exists as ideas in the mind that represent the world. In a radical critique, Hubert Dreyfus and Charles Taylor argue that knowledge consists of much more than the representations we formulate in our minds. They affirm our direct contact with reality—both the physical and the social world—and our shared understanding of it.
Interpretation, in the sense relevant to hermeneutics, is an attempt to make clear, to make sense of an object of study. This object must, therefore, be a text or a text-analogue, which in some way is confused, incomplete, cloudy, seemingly contradictory--in one way or another, unclear. The interpretation aims to bring to light an underlying coherence or sense.
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Recently, several authors have utilized the notion of dependence to respond to the traditional argument for the incompatibility of freedom and divine foreknowledge. However, proponents of this response have not always been so clear in specifying where the incompatibility argument goes wrong, which has led to some unfounded objections to the response. We remedy this dialectical confusion by clarifying both the dependence response itself and its interaction with the standard incompatibility argument. Once these clarifications are made, it becomes clear both (...) (1.) that the dependence response does not beg the question against the proponent of the incompatibility argument and (2.) that the dependence response advances the dialectic whether it is developed as a version of Ockhamism or as a version of multiple-pasts compatibilism. (shrink)
Thomas Taylor’s interpretation of Plato’s works in 1804 was condemned as guilty by association immediately after its publication. Taylor’s 1804 and 1809 reviewer thus made a hasty generalisation in which the qualities of Neoplatonism, assumed to be negative, were transferred to Taylor’s own interpretation, which made use of Neoplatonist thinkers. For this reason, Taylor has typically been marginalised as an interpreter of Plato. This article does not deny the association between Taylor and Neoplatonism. Instead, it (...) examines the historical and historiographical reasons for the reviewer’s assumption that Neoplatonic readings of Plato are erroneous by definition. In particular, it argues that the reviewer relied on, and tacitly accepted, ethical and theological premises going back to the historiography of philosophy developed by Jacob Brucker in his Historia critica philosophiae . These premises were an integral part of Brucker’s Lutheran religiosity and thus theologically and ethically biased. If these premises are identified, articulated and discussed critically—which they have not been so far in connection with Taylor’s reception—it becomes less obvious that the reviewer was justified in his assumption that the Neoplatonic reading was erroneous by definition. This, in turn, leaves Taylor’s Plato interpretation in a more respectable position. (shrink)
Olfaction represents odors, if it represents anything at all. Does olfaction also represent ordinary objects like cheese, fish and coffee-beans? Many think so. This paper argues that it does not. Instead, we should affirm an austere account of the intentional objects of olfaction: olfactory experience is about odors, not objects. Visuocentric thinking about olfaction has tempted some philosophers to say otherwise.
I argue that considerations pertaining to constitutive luck undermine historicism—the view that an agent’s history can determine whether or not she is morally responsible. The main way that historicists have motivated their view is by appealing to certain cases of manipulation. I argue, however, that since agents can be morally responsible for performing some actions from characters with respect to which they are entirely constitutively lucky, and since there is no relevant difference between these agents and agents who have been (...) manipulated into acting from a character bestowed upon them by their manipulators, we should give up historicism. After presenting this argument and defending it against some potential objections, I briefly criticize the standard structuralist alternative and propose a new structuralist position that is shaped by reflection on constitutive luck. (shrink)
Although convinced by Frankfurt-style cases that moral responsibility does not require the ability to do otherwise, semicompatibilists have not wanted to accept a parallel claim about moral responsibility for omissions, and so they have accepted asymmetrical requirements on moral responsibility for actions and omissions. In previous work, I have presented a challenge to various attempts at defending this asymmetry. My view is that semicompatibilists should give up these defenses and instead adopt symmetrical requirements on moral responsibility for actions and omissions, (...) and in this paper I highlight three advantages of doing so: first, it avoids a strange implication of the truth of determinism; second, it allows for a principled reply to Philip Swenson’s recent ‘No Principled Difference Argument’; third, it provides a reason to reject a crucial inference rule invoked by Peter van Inwagen’s ‘Direct Argument’ for the incompatibility of moral responsibility and determinism. (shrink)