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How can people of diverse religious, historical, ethnic, and linguistic allegiances and identities live together without committing violence, inflicting suffering, or oppressing each other? Western civilization has long understood this dilemma as a question of toleration, yet the logic of toleration and the logic of multicultural rights entrenchment are two very different things.In this volume, contributors suggest we also think beyond toleration to mutual respect, practiced before the creation of modern multiculturalism in the West. Salman Rushdie reflects on the once mutually tolerant Sufi-Hindu culture of Kashmir. Ira Katznelson follows with an intellectual history of toleration as a layered institution in the West and councils against assuming we have transcended the need for such tolerance. Charles Taylor advances a new approach to secularism in our multicultural world, and Akeel Bilgrami responds by urging caution against making it difficult to condemn or make illegal dangerous forms of intolerance. The political theorist Nadia Urbanati explores why the West did not pursue Cicero's humanist ideal of concord as a response to religious discord. The volume concludes with a refutation of the claim that toleration was invented in the West and is alien to non-Western cultures.
This is a major and comprehensive study of the philosophy of Hegel, his place in the history of ideas, and his continuing relevance and importance. Professor Taylor relates Hegel to the earlier history of philosophy and, more particularly, to the central intellectual and spiritual issues of his own time. He engages with Hegel sympathetically, on Hegel's own terms and, as the subject demands, in detail. This important book is now reissued with a fresh new cover.
Discussion of Hegel's contributions to philosophy and modernity
One of the most influential philosophers in the English-speaking world, Charles Taylor is internationally renowned for his contributions to political and moral theory, particularly to debates about identity formation, multiculturalism, secularism, and modernity. In Modern Social Imaginaries, Taylor continues his recent reflections on the theme of multiple modernities. To account for the differences among modernities, Taylor sets out his idea of the social imaginary, a broad understanding of the way a given people imagine their collective social life. Retelling the history of Western modernity, Taylor traces the development of a distinct social imaginary. Animated by the idea of a moral order based on the mutual benefit of equal participants, the Western social imaginary is characterized by three key cultural forms--the economy, the public sphere, and self-governance. Taylor's account of these cultural formations provides a fresh perspective on how to read the specifics of Western modernity: how we came to imagine society primarily as an economy for exchanging goods and services to promote mutual prosperity, how we began to imagine the public sphere as a metaphorical place for deliberation and discussion among strangers on issues of mutual concern, and how we invented the idea of a self-governing people capable of secular "founding" acts without recourse to transcendent principles. Accessible in length and style, Modern Social Imaginaries offers a clear and concise framework for understanding the structure of modern life in the West and the different forms modernity has taken around the world.
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. It is now joined by Jürgen Habermas's extensive essay on the issues of recognition and the democratic constitutional state and by K. 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.
From lightning to lasers and from dandelions to DNA, this inviting book travels through every area of science, explaining simply and entertainingly the major processes, forces and structures that shape the world of nature. Starting with the basics and moving on to challenging ideas from bacteria to the Milky Way, Charles Taylor and Stephen Pople tie every scientific concept to everyday issues children can relate to. While describing how a hologram is created, for example, the authors trick their readers into a full-fledged explanation of how light is produced and disseminated; rock concerts and a soccer ball are used as examples in discussions of electronics and airflow. The Oxford Children's Book of Science is a treat for browsers, and the glossary of key scientific terms and the alphabetical index are ideal research and study tools.
The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere represents a rare opportunity to experience a diverse group of preeminent philosophers confronting one pervasive contemporary concern: what role does--or should--religion play in our public lives? Reflecting on her recent work concerning state violence in Israel-Palestine, Judith Butler explores the potential of religious perspectives for renewing cultural and political criticism, while Jürgen Habermas, best known for his seminal conception of the public sphere, thinks through the ambiguous legacy of the concept of "the political" in contemporary theory. Charles Taylor argues for a radical redefinition of secularism, and Cornel West defends civil disobedience and emancipatory theology. Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan VanAntwerpen detail the immense contribution of these philosophers to contemporary social and political theory, and an afterword by Craig Calhoun places these attempts to reconceive the significance of both religion and the secular in the context of contemporary national and international politics.
What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age? Almost everyone would agree that we--in the West, at least--largely do. And clearly the place of religion in our societies has changed profoundly in the last few centuries. In what will be a defining book for our time, Charles Taylor takes up the question of what these changes mean--of what, precisely, happens when a society in which it is virtually impossible not to believe in God becomes one in which faith, even for the staunchest believer, is only one human possibility among others. Taylor, long one of our most insightful thinkers on such questions, offers a historical perspective. He examines the development in "Western Christendom" of those aspects of modernity which we call secular. What he describes is in fact not a single, continuous transformation, but a series of new departures, in which earlier forms of religious life have been dissolved or destabilized and new ones have been created. As we see here, today's secular world is characterized not by an absence of religion--although in some societies religious belief and practice have markedly declined--but rather by the continuing multiplication of new options, religious, spiritual, and anti-religious, which individuals and groups seize on in order to make sense of their lives and give shape to their spiritual aspirations. What this means for the world--including the new forms of collective religious life it encourages, with their tendency to a mass mobilization that breeds violence--is what Charles Taylor grapples with, in a book as timely as it is timeless.
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