Taylor, Charles 1931- (Charles Margrave Taylor)

views updated

Taylor, Charles 1931- (Charles Margrave Taylor)

PERSONAL:

Born November 5, 1931, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; son of Walter Margrave (an industrialist) and Simone (a fashion designer Beaubien) Taylor; married Alba Romer (an artist), April 2, 1956; children: Karen, Miriam, Wanda, Gabriella, Gretta. Education: McGill University, B.A., 1952; Oxford University, B.A., 1955, M.A., 1960, D.Phil., 1961. Politics: New Democratic Party (social democrat). Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Law School, Northwestern University, 633 Clark St., Evanston, IL 60208. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, began as assistant professor, 1961—, then professor of philosophy and political science, professor emeritus, 1998—; University of Montreal, professor of philosophy, 1962-71. Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, Oxford University, 1976; Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, Board of Trustees professor of law and philosophy, 2002—. Vice-president of New Democrat Party of Canada, 1965-73; guest lecturer at various universities, including University of California, Berkeley, University of Frankfurt, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, India, Queen's University, Carleton University, University of Oxford, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Stanford University, and Yale University.

MEMBER:

Canadian Philosophical Association, Canadian Political Science Association, Royal Society of Canada, Ligue des Droits de l'Homme.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Companion of the Order of Canada, 1995; named a grand officer de l'Ordre National du Quebec, 2000; Prix Léon-Gérin, Quebec provincial government, 2002, for contribution to Quebec intellectual life; Templeton Prize, John Templeton Foundation, 2007, for progress toward research or discoveries about spiritual realities.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

The Explanation of Behaviour, Humanities Press (New York, NY), 1964.

Pattern of Politics, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1970.

Hegel, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1975.

Hegel and Modern Society, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1979.

Social Theory as Practice, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1983.

Human Agency and Language, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1985.

Philosophy and the Human Sciences, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1985.

Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1989.

The Malaise of Modernity, Anansi (Concord, Ontario, Canada), 1991, published as The Ethics of Authenticity, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1992.

Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Recognition": An Essay, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1992.

Reconciling the Solitudes: Essays on Canadian Federalism and Nationalism, edited by Guy Laforest, McGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1993.

Philosophy in an Age of Pluralism: The Philosophy of Charles Taylor in Question, edited by James Tully, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Philosophical Arguments, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1995.

Charles Taylor Et L'interprétation de l'Identityé Moderne, Presses de l'Université Laval (Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada), 1998.

A Catholic Modernity?: Charles Taylor's Mirianist Award Lecture, with Responses by William M. Shea, Rosemary Luling Haughton, George Marsden, and Jean Bethke Elshtain, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Varieties of Religion Today: William James Revisited, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.

Etica e Umanita, Vita e Pensiero (Milan, Italy), 2004.

Modern Social Imaginaries, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2004.

A Secular Age, Belknap Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

Contributor of articles to political and philosophical journals. Founder and former editor, New Left Review.

SIDELIGHTS:

Charles Taylor is an internationally renowned philosopher. Taylor once told CA: "I am interested in philosophical anthropology, the theory of human nature; I am dissatisfied with widespread mechanistic accounts, more drawn to views defended in other philosophical traditions, e.g., Hegel, Humboldt, Heidegger; but believe these must be reformulated. No one philosophical school has the resources for this reformulation alone."

Upon graduating from Oxford University with his Ph.D. in 1961, Taylor began lecturing at McGill University in Montreal. Although he accepted a number of visiting and adjunct professorships at universities and institutes around the world, he remained affiliated with McGill University through acquiring professor emeritus status in 1998. In addition to academia, Taylor was also active in Canadian politics in the 1960s. He ran for a seat in the Canadian House of Commons four times for the New Democratic Party in Quebec. His service to Quebec life and intellectual notoriety earned him provincial honors, including being named a grand officer de l'Ordre National du Quebec in 2000 and winning the Prix Léon-Gérin in 2002. Nationally, Taylor was recognized as a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1995. While internationally, he received the Templeton Prize in 2007 for progress toward research about spiritual realities.

Throughout his career Taylor has supported his philosophical studies by analyzing a wide array of philosophers. Taylor also told CA: "I am very interested in French and German, as well as Anglo-Saxon philosophy. Being from Montreal, I grew up bi-lingual; and have since also learned German, Spanish, some Italian and Polish, and of course, Latin and Greek."

One book that has received attention from various critics is Modern Social Imaginaries, published in 2004. In it Taylor contends that the concept of modernity is unique to the place, yet Western modernity, which he primarily deals with here, is created or imagined by individuals interconnected by certain rights and obligations. Taylor prioritizes three main factors in this self-understanding of one within society: the public sphere, the economy, and the actual practice of democratic self-rule.

Varieties of Religion Today: William James Revisited, published two years before Modern Social Imaginaries, covers the philosophies of William James and his view of religion in modern times mixed in with Taylor's own views and comments on James' texts. The basic divide, they argue, is between personal religion of the individual and that of the institution itself, something which Taylor adds may be joined in some cases. Taylor's main disagreement with the philosophies of James is that he did not put value in societal religious experiences. Taylor used this point to highlight examples in the United States.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Amerasia Journal, January, 1995, review of Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Recognition": An Essay, p. 233.

American Political Science Review, June, 1993, review of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition, p. 482.

Antioch Review, spring, 1993, review of Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity.

Change, March, 1993, review of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition, p. 54.

Choice, February, 1993, review of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition, p. 1027; October, 1993, review of Reconciling the Solitudes: Essays on Canadian Federalism and Nationalism, p. 362; November, 1995, review of Sources of the Self, p. 411.

Christian Century, December 2, 1992, review of The Ethics of Authenticity, p. 1115.

Ethics, October, 1993, review of The Ethics of Authenticity, p. 192; January, 1994, review of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition, p. 384.

First Things, May 7, 2007, review of Modern Social Imaginaries, p. 63.

Foreign Affairs, January, 1993, review of Reconciling the Solitudes, p. 173.

Hastings Center Report, September, 1994, review of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition, p. 44.

Journal of the History of Ideas, January, 1993, review of The Ethics of Authenticity, p. 174.

Times Literary Supplement, January 29, 1993, review of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition, p. 5.

ONLINE

Templeton Prize,http://www.templetonprize.org/ (June 3, 2007), author profile.

About this article

Taylor, Charles 1931- (Charles Margrave Taylor)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article