Is Charles Taylor the world’s most important philosopher?

He’s recently co-written a report for the Quebec government, he won the $1.6 million Templeton Prize last year, and now Charles Taylor has won the “Japanese Nobel”: the Kyoto Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Philosophy. The award is bestowed by The Inamori Foundation which said:

A philosopher and professor emeritus at McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Taylor, 76, will receive the award for constructing a social philosophy that actively pursues the harmonious coexistence of diverse cultures. By advocating “communitarianism” and “multiculturalism” from the perspective of “holistic individualism,” Dr. Taylor has developed an enlightened philosophy that allows people of different historical, traditional, and cultural backgrounds to retain their multiple identities while living together peacefully.
Dr. Taylor reasons that dialogue is the primary vehicle through which people develop identities and frameworks for determining what is good, what is valuable, what they should do, and what they support or oppose. In his view, human beings are “self-interpreting animals” that act with a sense of value and purpose ― they articulate everyday feelings and moral intuitions into language and act according to their own opinion of values and goals.
Dr. Taylor established a “philosophical anthropology” using the foundations of phenomenology, hermeneutics, and language-game theory in opposition to the atomistic view of the “self” and the concepts of human identity proposed by methodological individualism and behaviorism. He also opposes modern utilitarianism for leaving value judgments to the feelings and preferences of the atomistic selves, arguing that individuals are “situated selves” embedded in the fabric of social relations.
Key to Dr. Taylor’s “communitarianism” and “multiculturalism” philosophies is the concept of “recognition,” in which he contrasts the “dialogical self” with the “monological self” and offers “freedom in situation” in place of “absolute freedom.” He proposes that human beings can flourish only if their identities are recognized by others ― and, accordingly, that community bonds are necessary to realize individual autonomy. His principles provide rational grounds for the dignity of human beings living a deep diversity, and for their demands for recognition.

Taylor gets 50 million yen (approximately US$460,000), a diploma and a medal of 20-karat gold, in November. Does this confirm that in terms of influence, reputation and recognition, Charles Taylor is now the most important living philosopher in the world?

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47 Comments.

  1. I suppose it all depends on what is meant by “the most important living philosopher in the world”. George Bush is probably the most important chief of state in the world, but that does not imply that he is the best chief of state or the wisest or the one that made the most valuable contribution to statecraft as an art.

  2. RE: Not exactly, and here is my reason:

    Upon review of his philosophy synopsis titled “Construction of a social philosophy to pursue the coexistence of diverse cultures” as you quoted above, I must say that Charles Taylor is one of the world’s leading philosophers who has had an accurate observation and worldview on our fragile but dynamic and diverse Humanity on Earth—A conclusion that I have had also arrived at over a decade ago, but based on my own empirical, scientific, philosophical, and psychological reading and research, as I recently discussed it briefly in “The question of God, Mind, Spirit, Self, etc” in Jean Kazez’s “Neural Buddhists” (TalkingPhilosophyUK; June 1) here: http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com/?p=284#comment-8806 .

    Thank you all for your kind attention and cooperation in this matter—Author “Decoding Scientism” (work in progress since July 2007).

  3. Stephen Cowley

    He has at least read Hegel, which gives him a head start of many anglophone writers. He doesn’t address Hegel’s idealism though, but only borrows from the “anthropological” analysis of interpersonal experience.

    Will Kymlicka (another Canadian, I think) critiques the “communitarianism” quite effectively. I didn’t know he was from French Canada, but I guess that must sharpen up his view of “community”.

  4. Of course those accolades in themselves confirm nothing of the sort; and yet I must admit to sharing some of the reservations that I suspect motivate Julian’s rather rhetorical question.

    For example, whilst Taylor has highlighted interesting themes of debasement and anomie in contemporary western society; it could perhaps be suggested that he has not contributed anything startlingly new to the debate, beyond reasserting the standard existential/phenomenological and sociological fare of Heidegger or Weber to an audience who may not be that familiar with it.

    I’m also a little uncertain as to why Tailor’s communitarian theory of the ‘dialogical self’ provides rational grounds for dignity and recognition amidst deep diversity, in a way in which the liberal theory of an ‘overlapping consensus’ does not. And yet as far as I’m aware Rawls was never as weighed down with quiet as much public glory as Taylor currently is.

    Perhaps we should be wary, not only of confusing truth with prize money, but also of confusing the desperation of troubled times with the justification for public demonstrations of appreciation.

  5. Julian’s rather ironic and rhetorical question, I suspect.

    It looks as if Taylor is (at least taken to be by some) the world’s most useful philosopher.

  6. michael reidy

    Ophelia:
    Perhaps Julian has something like this in mind – in a post from Charles Taylor:

    “What are we to think of the idea, entertained by Rawls for a time, that one can legitimately ask of a religiously and philosophically diverse democracy that everyone deliberate in a language of reason alone, leaving their religious views in the vestibule of the public sphere? The tyrannical nature of this demand was rapidly appreciated by Rawls, to his credit. ”

    from:
    http://www.ssrc.org/blogs/immanent_frame/2008/04/24/secularism-and-critique/

  7. Well that’s the kind of thing I had in mind when I suggested he was the most useful. Very Templetonian.

  8. Michael, Great link. That will keep me company as I continue to slog through A Secular Age. Interesting list of contributors they have there. The quote is intriguing.

  9. Thanks for the link Michael. Yep, I can see how that line of argument could pull a Templeton Prize; although what it contributes to “the progress of science”, “the advancement of civilisation” or even “the enrichment and elevation of the human spirit” (Koyoto Prize) is a little more obscure…

  10. michael reidy

    I am a complete novice as regards Charles Taylor and I realize that these prizes may be ways that conservative institutes have of claiming that endangered species the-philosopher-of-the-first-rank who is also a believer. Recieved doctrine takes many forms and I offer for your edification this adaptation of a famous hymn:

    I thank the goodness and the grace
    Which on my birth have smiled,
    And made me in these secular days,
    A happy Utilitarian child.

    Jane Taylor, “A Child’s Hymn of Praise,” from Hymns for Infant Minds (1810). Insert ‘Christian’ and ‘English’ for original.

  11. leslie glazer

    Few contemporary philosophers can compare as far as the depth and breadth of taylors work to date. He has consistently since the 60s been seeking to bring clarification to the intellectual scence. IN the 60s this had to do with the critique of behaviorism and simple causal explanations. This expanded to a critique of more complex causal explantions, then from teleology to the problems of meaning and interpretation, to makig hegel meaningful to us english speakers, and then to the question of the self and the problem of meaning as it exists in religion and politics. One can never fail to learn something in reading him on some topic. The only other english speaking philosopher who might compare here would be MacINtyre. However, one may view him as the ‘best’ or most important if one is looking for something radical [he is pretty conservative and grounded] or something completely original. he is sort of like Ricoeur or Cassirer rather than like Kant or Heidegger—-but then again I am not sure that level of philosophy is even possibly anymore.

  12. Eric MacDonald

    Surely, the article that Michael refers us to shows clearly why Charles Taylor is not the world’s most important philosopher, and also why, as Ophelia, points out, he is useful to those with a religious cast of mind.

    The following quote from the article says it all:

    It may turn out at the end of the day that religion is founded on an illusion, and hence that what is derived from it less credible. But until we actually reach that place, there is no a priori reason for greater suspicion being directed at it.

    If Taylor can say that, then, he has already sold his position. When we give evidence for a moral view, say that it contributes to people’s welfare or happiness, this is either true or not, but if, instead we say that it is commanded by God (a claim which, notice, may turn out to be grounded on an illusion, according to Taylor), our claim cannot, in the nature of the case, be well grounded.

    Certainly, as Austin Dacey points out, religious people should put their views clearly in public space, but they must also provide the evidence for them, evidence which, as Taylor points out, may in fact be entirely illusory. Taylor says we have not reached the point at which we can say that religion is based on an illusion, but, by the same token, we have not reached the point at which we can say that it is not, so any probative value religious claims or arguments might have is severely limited. Taylor’s reserving space for religious claims is really all smoke and mirrors, which is why he cannot see that Habermas’ acknowledgement of the place of religious speech in political discourse does not include religious justifications for political decisions.

  13. Eric MacDonald

    In my second paragraph I should have said: ‘our claim cannot, in the nature of the case, be well grounded (or at least we cannot know that it is).’

  14. Andrew Miller

    My, grumpiness abounds!

    Given the wide reception and discussion of his work, and his prominent and recent activity in both the scholarly and the public realms, I would have thought the claim that he is, “in terms of influence, reputation and recognition,” indubitably the most important living philosopher.

    It seems churlish to deny this merely because the content of Taylor’s work may be valuable to one’s intellectual opponents.

  15. Andrew Miller

    Oops, strike the words “claim that” from the previous post’s penultimate sentence.

  16. Eric MacDonald

    You meant strike the words ‘the claim’ in your penult para didn’t you, Andrew?

    I may be wrong, but, as a philosopher, has Charles Taylor been that important in terms of influence, reputation and recognition? He is known, within philosophy, as an apologist for religion. That’s why he got the Templeton prize, and no doubt the Kyoto one too, though someone has asked, appropriately, whether Taylor actually meets the terms of the Kyoto prize.

    For some reason people think, because religious believing seems to be making some kind of a comeback — which can be interpreted, variously, as the death throes of religion (Grayling), or its deserved (or inevitable) resurgence (John Gray) — that it is also philosophically respectable. Have I missed something in philosophy while I have been off doing other things, or has philosophy itself undergone a religious transformation? or conversion, even!?

  17. Eric MacDonald

    Oh, I’m sorry Andrew, I meant to say that I can exchange you grump for grump if you like!

  18. Given the wide reception and discussion of his work, and his prominent and recent activity in both the scholarly and the public realms, I would have thought the claim that he is, “in terms of influence, reputation and recognition,” indubitably the most important living philosopher.

    Hang on – that’s an enormous leap. Indubitably? Hardly! At the very least you have to look around a little to see if any other philosophers match that description, and if so, whether any score even higher on any or all of the variables. Charles Taylor isn’t the only received and discussed philosopher currently on the planet, and it would take some evidence to show that he is in terms of influence, reputation and recognition, indubitably the most important living philosopher. There are, I would say, other candidates; quite strong ones.

  19. Andrew Miller

    Is he really known principally as an apologist for religion? I had thought Taylor’s reputation depended largely on _Sources of the Self_.

    And it was his philosophical work which has won him prizes, earned him mainstream press, and– very importantly– made him co-chair of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission in Quebec.

    It is uncommon for philosophers in Canada, and I would imagine elsewhere, to take such prominent roles in shaping public policy. (Perhaps France.) Take that role, combine it with his output and public prominence, and the claim that he is the most influential philosopher now living strikes me as unexceptionable.

    To affirm this is not to say that one likes him and his work or that he’s gotten everything right, of course… but that’s not what’s at issue.

  20. Andrew Miller

    I had thought the claim about his influence, etc. rested not on solely on his philosophical output, but on his role in public life. It was Taylor who co-chaired the Bouchard-Taylor Commission and co-wrote the report, which was an important contribution to public policy in Quebec and has been influential in Canada generally. Combine this with his recent awards and his prominence in the press, it seems Taylor is winning right now.

    I don’t think the claim was ‘for all time’, or even ‘for this decade’. Last year I suppose Richard Dawkins might have been the leading candidate. But for this moment– summer 2008– Taylor is dominating the field.

  21. the claim that he is the most influential philosopher now living strikes me as unexceptionable.

    But you’re just ignoring the entire rest of the world, simply because Taylor co-chaired a commission in Canada and won some awards. There are very influential philosophers in other countries.

    You haven’t looked around to see if anyone else matches the description, so just listing Taylor’s credits won’t do. We still don’t know that they trump everyone else’s. And I’m pretty sure that they don’t. There are other credits to consider – chairs; journals edited, dictionaries and encyclopedias and companions edited; students filling important jobs all over the place; books; articles; etc etc etc. There’s a lot to take into account here. So no – the claim that Taylor is the most influential philosopher now living is very far from unexceptionable.

    And how did Dawkins get into the picture? Dawkins isn’t a philosopher!

    Perhaps you just mean Taylor is the Anglophone philosopher with the most name-recognition at this moment? That’s a very different claim, and I doubt that that’s true either – I think at the very least you would have to insert ‘in Canada’ somewhere in that claim – but at least it’s not quite as exceptionable as the other one.

  22. Andrew Miller

    My goodness!

    Didn’t Hume say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence? I would have thought that airy claims and distinctions require airy evidence. And “most influential philosopher now living” is pretty airy.

    Let’s write Esquire and ask them to stop producing articles along the lines of “Fifty Best Places to Buy a Hamburger in the USA” on the grounds that they have failed to attach a peer-reviewed methodology.

    And not to get epistemological, but if Taylor isn’t the most influential, I’d be more persuaded that I am mistaken in my intuition that he is by a strong counter-example presented than by having my evidence declared to be insufficient. Falsification and all that.

    …and incidentally, who says Dawkins isn’t a philosopher? He wrote THE GOD DELUSION, didn’t he? And isn’t it a work of philosophy? Isn’t thinking and writing in a philosophical mode sufficient to make one a philosopher?

    Maybe Dawkins isn’t a *professional* philosopher, but I didn’t think the question of who is the most influential made that distinction.

    (Hey, Nietzsche was a philologist by training and by profession! We’d better delete his work from the canon immediately.)

  23. michael reidy

    The world’s most important philosopher is like 5 greatest songs any genre for breaking up to, fun to discuss but don’t expect Q.E.D. at the bottom of your claim. Taylor makes waves but is he the mother of all tsunamis? There is that American political virus of symmetry – the other guys like him therefore I must hate him and all his works and pomps. They are wrong about everything. Shall we call it sand box triumphalism?

  24. Oh, I misunderstood; I didn’t realize we were in the realm of airy claims supported by airy evidence. I took “unexceptionable” at face value.

    Who says Dawkins isn’t a philosopher…Everyone? Including Dawkins? No, The God Delusion isn’t a work of philosophy. It’s comparable to a work of religion (not theology), such as can be and is written by any believer; it’s simply a negative version of books like that. I don’t think anyone considers Francis Collins’s religious book a work of philosophy, and I don’t think many people think of The God Delusion as one either.

    The thing about religion is that it’s inherently a non-expert subject: it makes claims on everyone, and the claims are based on belief, or even ‘faith,’ which are necessarily meant to be wide open to everyone. So the rest of us are perfectly entitled to answer those claims without any official expertise or credentials. The results may be crap (or not), but the attempt is legitimate, and there is no need to give it the imprimatur of philosophy.

  25. if Taylor isn’t the most influential, I’d be more persuaded that I am mistaken in my intuition that he is by a strong counter-example

    I was going to try to stay out of this beauty contest, but when someone asks for a counterexample, it’s hard to resist. We’re talking “influential” here–which means (I guess) spawning further research in academia, and changing the thinking of the public. I may be wrong, but I sort of think Taylor doesn’t score that high on #1, because his research falls between the cracks. He’s not quite “analytic,” not quite “continental,” and in fact he writes a blend of philosophy, history, and sociology. I don’t know about #2. I certainly think he’s highly respected, which is something else.

    More influential all around would be…well, Rawls before he died. Today, how about Peter Singer? Jerry Fodor is hugely influential by standard #1 but also by #2, since his thinking affects cognitive science and trickles down from there.

    Enough of that…now I’m going to figure out who’s the sexiest man alive.

  26. Well, and if we’re naming names, I was thinking Habermas. Correct me if I’m wrong but my impression is that he’s pretty influential. There’s also Amartya Sen, who isn’t strictly a philosopher but who has at least one foot (maybe one and a half) in that camp.

    The Charles Taylor campaign seems, among other things, terribly parochial.

  27. Andrew Miller

    “Campaign”?

  28. Andrew Miller

    I think Amartya Sen and Peter Singer are fine candidates for the insubstantial honour we’re debating here. But I still think that Taylor’s recent crop of awards nudges him over the top. I also think that Taylor’s stock is likely to drop soon, as he’s not terribly prolific. Singer or Sen could probably ‘steal’ the ‘title’ with a well-timed op-ed piece or the like.

    And forgive my cynicism, but my spider-sense tingles when I hear the word ‘parochial.’ We’re rather used to this in Canada, of course: developments in…

    USA, UK = mainstream, important, universal

    Canada, Australia, New Zealand = marginal, unimportant, particular

    Now if only Taylor had chaired a commission for New York state. Then he’d really be making a contribution!

  29. ‘Campaign’ was just a bit of mild irony. I don’t really think it’s a campaign.

    But ‘parochial’ for crying out loud followed on from Habermas. Note the subtle hint in ‘Anglophone philosopher’ above. It’s the Anglophone bit that I think is parochial, not the Canadian bit. And how do you know I’m not Canadian? How do you know I know you’re Canadian? Etc.

    Anyway, you still think Taylor’s recent crop of awards nudges him over the top, without (as far as I can tell) even pausing to ask if any other philosophers have had a similar crop, much less to ask whether your criteria are the only criteria. It’s all very seat of the pants – and yeah, now that you mention it, maybe more parochial than I realized.

  30. Eric MacDonald

    It’s a bit like chasing a ghost, isn’t it? And, because so wraith-like, it’s hard to pin Charles Taylor down. So far as being parochial. It’s interesting, when a British philosopher moves to the US, he’s always a British-American, but when someone like Steven Pinker comes from Canada, no one thinks to call him a Canadian-American.

    But if I were giving prizes for most influential philosopher today, it certainly wouldn’t go to Taylor, Canadian or not. What big philosophical work (aside from the sheer size of his books) has he done? Has he changed the way we look at the world?

    Singer is a possibility, but, for my money, I’d put my bet on Daniel Dennett. Now, whatever you think of his place in cognitive science, here is a man who has made a substantial contribution to philosophy, has developed theories of consciousness and freedom, has proposed a way of examining the claims of religion, and has put the whole project of evolutionary ways of looking at the world on a fairly solid intellectual foundation. For my money, he’s the one.

  31. Calvin Johansson

    As a Canadian, I can only laugh at such a question as whether Charles Taylor is now the most important living philosopher in the world. If you know about Canadian humor, ie. Jim Carrey, Howie Mandel, many Second City alumni, you would understand how we like to make great fun of such pomposity.

    It seems like Americans and Brits get worked up about this type of celebrity nonsense. As a Canadian, I like and admire Charles Taylor and he has been a very important intellectual presence for many, many years. I don’t care and I am pretty sure he doesn’t care whether he wins your beauty contest.

    Perhaps Mike Myers, another Canadian comedian, can find an answer to your question. After all, he is Austin Powers and the Love Guru.

  32. There is no beauty contest – Julian’s question was heavily ironic. I thought that was obvious.

    For myself, I’m not interested in the contest, whether ironic or dead serious; I’m interested in weird leaps from knowing a couple of tiny things to an unrelated conclusion. It’s like saying this cake has cherries and walnuts therefore it is the most delicious cake in the world. It’s like saying this game has dice and golf clubs therefore it is the best game in the world. It’s like saying this book has chapters and semi-colons, therefore it is the best game in the world. It’s like saying this house has stairs and closets therefore it is the best house in the world.

  33. Gary Ferguson

    460,000.00 USD

    =

    464,899.00 CAD

    divided by

    2304

    =

    approx.

    200.00 CAD

    which is what a cheap air conditioner would cost (retail) if I want a remote…
    and Charles Taylor is the most important philosopher because I read one of his books

  34. Calvin Johansson

    Come on, Ophelia. Stop playing your little games. It is obvious from your earlier discussions that you and others have a problem with the recognition that Charles Taylor has received over the past year.

    Did you get this worked up when Habermas was receiving his awards a few years ago? I like Habermas too. But I don’t think we need to try to make him greater than Taylor or the opposite.

    Why are you so hung up on trying to find out who or what is “the best”? I think you should spend your time just thinking about “weird leaps”, whatever they are, and not try to get into the little kids game of “who’s the king of the castle?” Pissing contests are just not worth the effort.

  35. Come on, Calvin Johansson. (Have we met? You’re very familiar – not to say rude.) I’m not playing my ‘little games.’ I’m not worked up. I’m not hung up.

    How are your reading skills? Not up to much, I would say. You ask why I’m ‘so hung up on trying to find out who or what is “the best”‘ immediately following a comment in which I say ‘I’m not interested in the contest, whether ironic or dead serious; I’m interested in weird leaps…’ Der.

    Since it seems to have gone right past you, I’ll repeat. I’m not worked up about who is best. I don’t have any particular problem with the recognition that Charles Taylor is said to have received lately – I’m not even all that aware of it. (I was aware of the Templeton prize, but that’s not really recognition, it’s more of a joke.) It really was the weird leap that got my attention, not the contest.

    I don’t like or dislike Habermas; I know very little about Habermas; I mentioned him because among the little I do know is that he is cited and mentioned a lot, that he is as it were a Name. I’m not invested in him, I just think it’s conspicuously parochial to limit the discussion to Anglophone philosophers and then claim one is The Most Influential in the World.

  36. Calvin Johansson

    I think that you protest too much. I don’t claim any title for Charles Taylor. My point is just that it does not matter who is the best or most or whatever.

    I do think that you have some ingrained prejudices that prevent you from recognizing Charles Taylor’s many important contributions to philosophy and social theory. Maybe you should read more “Anglophone philosophers” whatever “Anglophone” has to do with it is not important anyway.

    Just another of your prejudices that goes with dismissing the Templeton prize as a “joke”. Just who are you to judge? Of course, you just probably write me off as another “Anglophone” who is so “parochial”.

    Maybe if you read some Habermas you would understand the need for clear, direct communication with words and ideas that serve to bring people together for progressive actions rather than divide into categories like “Anglophone” or “parochial”

    Your last paragraph belies your earlier statement that “I’m not interested in the contest…..”. I think that you are very interested. It is just that you want to maintain a position of aloof dispagement because that way you can continue to hide.

    Why don’t you just come out and say who you think is the “best” or “most influential” instead of the sly, silly game of just objecting to everyone else’s choice?

    For me, I just don’t care because I think that questions like who is the “best” or “most influential” are pompous, unimportant and laughable.

  37. Andrew Miller

    Hmm… getting rather warm in this thread. So this will be my final word, at least. I apologize if I boiled anyone’s blood with my “unexceptionable” remark. I thought it went without saying– though I did end up trying to say it– that Julian’s question was posed in a tongue-in-cheek manner, and as such sought a tongue-in-cheek response.

    For the record, I don’t think “most influential” is something that can be determined empirically, any more than “most beautiful” or “will leave the greatest legacy.” Still, it was a fun football to toss around in slow periods at work.

    But I guess some people have more skin in this game. So I’ll apologize for any upset caused, and sign off.

  38. Andrew, Before you go…I suppose it’s true that things Canadian get written off as inconsequential too much, but fyi…the running joke in my American household is that we’re moving to Canada (Vancouver to be specific).

    As to Julian’s post…y’know, the award Taylor got seems to have been like the Nobel peace prize. He was recognized for helping humankind head toward peaceful coexistence. So it was never about influence and importance to begin with. I’m not enough of a Taylor expert to be able to say anything about whether the award made sense, in its own terms.

  39. Fine, Calvin Johansson, whatever you say. I’m a liar, and you know best.

    Andrew – sorry, I just missed the irony! I suppose that’s the difference between having background knowledge and not having it – Julian’s was obvious but yours wasn’t (to me I mean). So there I was making heavy weather of a joke. [slaps self upside the head.]

    I blame the heat wave.

  40. What, has it climbed to 80 in Seattle? My heart goes out to you.

  41. Hey it was 91 at 6 pm yesterday! Plus it stayed hot all night Saturday night! We’re not used to this.

    whimper

  42. Taylor seems to be the best paid philosopher in the world. Some of the replies (haven’t read them all) indicate that this list arguably has some of the most sceptical and, perhaps, envious “philosophers” among its readers.

    Hurray for a fellow Canuck, even though I had never heard of him ’til now.

  43. blog.talkingphilosophy.com » Nagel scoops £0.5million prize - pingback on September 8, 2008 at 5:19 pm
  44. RE: Pinker is definitely an American psycholinguist!

    Eric MacDonald above observes that “It’s interesting, when a British philosopher moves to the US, he’s always a British-American, but when someone like Steven Pinker comes from Canada, no one thinks to call him a Canadian-American.”

    I think it all depends on where the core “science-philosophy” issues of a person’s academic training and learning came from. In the case of Canadian-born Pinker, he could be characterized as a Harvard-MIT trained — and still works there — and therefore he is definitely an American psycholinguist, as I recently analyzed here: “Overrated Noam Chomsky — RE: Overrated Chomsky? — Absolutely!” (StandpointMagUK; April 12, 2010).

    Best wishes, Mong 5/25/10usct4:52p; practical science-philosophy critic; author “Decoding Scientism” and “Consciousness & the Subconscious” (works in progress since July 2007), Gods, Genes, Conscience (iUniverse; 2006) and Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now (blogging avidly since 2006).

  45. Pardon me but as I came across this thread I felt. I must venture to enter your forum. It certainly is not a stretch for me to confess that I am most likely the worlds least important philosopher. For I am in a state of perplexity and will be most grateful to those of you who would be so gracious as to assist me in discovering what is indivisible.

  46. As a layman with an interest it was fascinating firstly to come across the work of Charles Taylor only yesterday for the first time and secondly to read this debate in what I take to be a philosopher-community about his influence.
    He didn’t influence me until now but I shall certainly now be interested to see if he has anything new to offer.

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