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- Multiculturalism and "the politics of recognition" : an essay
- Charles Taylor (philosopher)
- The Politics of Recognition
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Recognition has both a normative and a psychological dimension. Arguably, if you recognize another person with regard to a certain feature, as an autonomous agent, for example, you do not only admit that she has this feature but you embrace a positive attitude towards her for having this feature. Such recognition implies that you bear obligations to treat her in a certain way, that is, you recognize a specific normative status of the other person, e. But recognition does not only matter normatively. It is also of psychological importance.
Multiculturalism and "the politics of recognition" : an essay
Catholicism portal. Kluge Prize. He has also made contributions to moral philosophy , epistemology , hermeneutics , aesthetics , the philosophy of mind , the philosophy of language , and the philosophy of action.
Charles Margrave Taylor was born in Montreal , Quebec , on November 5, , to a Roman Catholic Francophone mother and a Protestant Anglophone father by whom he was raised bilingually.
For many years, both before and after Oxford, he was Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at McGill University in Montreal, where he is now professor emeritus. Taylor was elected a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in In , he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.
In June , he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in the arts and philosophy category. The Kyoto Prize is sometimes referred to as the Japanese Nobel. Despite his extensive and diverse philosophical oeuvre,  Taylor famously calls himself a "monomaniac",  concerned with only one fundamental aspiration: to develop a convincing philosophical anthropology.
In order to understand Taylor's views, it is helpful to understand his philosophical background, especially his writings on Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel , Ludwig Wittgenstein , Martin Heidegger , and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Taylor rejects naturalism and formalist epistemology. He is part of an influential intellectual tradition of Canadian idealism that includes John Watson , Paxton Young , C. Macpherson , and George Grant.
In his essay "To Follow a Rule", Taylor explores why people can fail to follow rules, and what kind of knowledge it is that allows a person to successfully follow a rule, such as the arrow on a sign.
The intellectualist tradition presupposes that to follow directions, we must know a set of propositions and premises about how to follow directions. Taylor argues that Wittgenstein's solution is that all interpretation of rules draws upon a tacit background. This background is not more rules or premises, but what Wittgenstein calls "forms of life". More specifically, Wittgenstein says in the Philosophical Investigations that "Obeying a rule is a practice. Following Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Hans-Georg Gadamer , Michael Polanyi , and Wittgenstein, Taylor argues that it is mistaken to presuppose that our understanding of the world is primarily mediated by representations.
It is only against an unarticulated background that representations can make sense to us. On occasion we do follow rules by explicitly representing them to ourselves, but Taylor reminds us that rules do not contain the principles of their own application: application requires that we draw on an unarticulated understanding or "sense of things"—the background.
Taylor defines naturalism as a family of various, often quite diverse theories that all hold "the ambition to model the study of man on the natural sciences". In many ways, Taylor's early philosophy springs from a critical reaction against the logical positivism and naturalism that was ascendant in Oxford while he was a student. Initially, much of Taylor's philosophical work consisted of careful conceptual critiques of various naturalist research programs.
This began with his dissertation The Explanation of Behaviour , which was a detailed and systematic criticism of the behaviourist psychology of B. Skinner  that was highly influential at mid-century. From there, Taylor also spread his critique to other disciplines. The essay "Interpretation and the Sciences of Man" was published in as a critique of the political science of the behavioural revolution advanced by giants of the field like David Easton , Robert Dahl , Gabriel Almond , and Sydney Verba.
Skinner's behaviourism. But Taylor also detected naturalism in fields where it was not immediately apparent. For example, in 's "Language and Human Nature" he found naturalist distortions in various modern "designative" theories of language,  while in Sources of the Self he found both naturalist error and the deep moral, motivational sources for this outlook in various individualist and utilitarian conceptions of selfhood.
Concurrent to Taylor's critique of naturalism was his development of an alternative. Indeed, Taylor's mature philosophy begins when as a doctoral student at Oxford he turned away, disappointed, from analytic philosophy in search of other philosophical resources which he found in French and German modern hermeneutics and phenomenology.
The hermeneutic tradition develops a view of human understanding and cognition as centred on the decipherment of meanings as opposed to, say, foundational theories of brute verification or an apodictic rationalism. Taylor's own philosophical outlook can broadly and fairly be characterized as hermeneutic and has been called engaged hermeneutics.
Taylor as well as Alasdair MacIntyre , Michael Walzer , and Michael Sandel is associated with a communitarian critique of liberal theory's understanding of the "self". Communitarians emphasize the importance of social institutions in the development of individual meaning and identity. In his Massey Lecture The Malaise of Modernity , Taylor argued that political theorists—from John Locke and Thomas Hobbes to John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin —have neglected the way in which individuals arise within the context supplied by societies.
A more realistic understanding of the "self" recognizes the social background against which life choices gain importance and meaning. Taylor's later work has turned to the philosophy of religion , as evident in several pieces, including the lecture "A Catholic Modernity" and the short monograph "Varieties of Religion Today: William James Revisited".
Taylor's most significant contribution in this field to date is his book A Secular Age which argues against the secularization thesis of Max Weber , Steve Bruce, and others. Taylor begins from the fact that the modern world has not seen the disappearance of religion but rather its diversification and in many places its growth. In the process, Taylor also greatly deepens his account of moral, political, and spiritual modernity that he had begun in Sources of the Self.
He improved his standing in , coming in second. Most famously, he also lost in the election to newcomer and future prime minister , Pierre Trudeau. This campaign garnered national attention. Taylor's fourth and final attempt to enter the House of Commons of Canada was in the federal election , when he came in second as an NDP candidate in the riding of Dollard.
In he coedited a paper on human rights with Vitit Muntarbhorn in Thailand. Taylor served as a vice president of the federal NDP beginning c. In , Taylor said multiculturalism was a work in progress that faced challenges. He identified tackling Islamophobia in Canada as the next challenge. In his book Reconstructing Democracy he, together with Patrizia Nanz and Madeleine Beaubien Taylor, uses local examples to describe how democracies in transformations might be revitalized by involving citizenship.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Canadian philosopher. Montreal , Quebec , Canada. Alba Romer Taylor. Aube Billard. Communitarianism Hegelianism . Ruth Abbey   Frederick C. Beiser  Michael E. Rosen  Michael J. Sandel . Political philosophy cosmopolitanism secularity religion modernity.
Sources of the Self A Secular Age Communitarian critique of liberalism critique of naturalism and formalist epistemology engaged hermeneutics . Central concepts. Civil society Political particularism Positive rights Social capital Value pluralism. Important thinkers. Sandel Charles Taylor Michael Walzer.
Related topics. Christian democracy Radical centrism Republicanism Social democracy. Aquinas , Scotus , and Ockham. Further information: A Secular Age. Templeton Prize. Retrieved 30 October March 15, Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 23, Campbell , p.
Smith , p. Smith , pp. Retrieved November 3, Retrieved 4 May Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University. May 10, The National Interest. Washington: Center for the National Interest. Retrieved November 18, The Christian Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press. Cited in Converse, William April 17, Anglican Church of Canada. New York. The Immanent Frame. Full Stop. Retrieved December 3, Toronto: Rogers Media. Retrieved August 9,
Charles Taylor (philosopher)
This chapter explores what it means to move multiculturalism from the outskirts to the centre of our political thinking. It explains the range of multicultural rights and examines an important attempt to theorise them. The chapter considers Will Kymlicka's Multicultural Citizenship to defend cultural protection along liberal lines. Influenced by Inuit communities in the Canadian Northwest Territories, Kymlicka regards a culture as a civilisation, self-sufficient and with its own social institutions. The chapter explores the attempts to go beyond Kymlicka's largely liberal approach with a more radical 'politics of recognition', which says that we recognise cultures on their own terms. Charles Taylor's elegant essay 'The Politics of Recognition' has given the politics of recognition a rich philosophical background.
The Politics of Recognition
A new edition of the highly acclaimed book Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Recognition," this paperback brings together an even wider range of leading philosophers and social scientists to probe the political controversy surrounding multiculturalism. Charles Taylor's initial inquiry, which considers whether the institutions of liberal democratic government make room--or should make room--for recognizing the worth of distinctive cultural traditions, remains the centerpiece of this discussion. Anthony Appiah's commentary on the tensions between personal and collective identities, such as those shaped by religion, gender, ethnicity, race, and sexuality, and on the dangerous tendency of multicultural politics to gloss over such tensions. These contributions are joined by those of other well-known thinkers, who further relate the demand for recognition to issues of multicultural education, feminism, and cultural separatism.
Catholicism portal. Kluge Prize. He has also made contributions to moral philosophy , epistemology , hermeneutics , aesthetics , the philosophy of mind , the philosophy of language , and the philosophy of action. Charles Margrave Taylor was born in Montreal , Quebec , on November 5, , to a Roman Catholic Francophone mother and a Protestant Anglophone father by whom he was raised bilingually.
Recognition, Taylor thinks, looms large in contemporary politics. From nationalist movements to demands behalf of minority or subaltern groups in feminism and multiculturalism, the invocation of recognition is a mainstay of politics discourse. And partly for good reason. Taylor says considerably more about how exactly this ideal emerged.
Primary Bibliography: Articles. Lowney II. Palgrave Macmillan, New York: Columbia University Press,
Multiculturalism: examining the politics of recognition! Charles Taylor [et al.); edited and introduced by Amy Gutmann. p. cm. Expanded ed. of: Multiculturalism.