Abstract:The main part of the philosophical activity of Charles Taylor may be characterized as philosophical anthropology. This philosophical anthropology is above all an attempt to overcome what he calls the epistemological construal i. e. a set of false anthropological beliefs spread in the modern western philosophy like: disengaged subject, the punctual self and social atomism. His critique of the anthropological beliefs draws, among other thinkers, heavily on Ludwig Wittgenstein's reflections on language and his social nature in Philosophical Investigations. To the disengaged subject and punctual self Taylor opposes the embodied subject, a human agent that is impossible to define without his language depending entirely on the “form of life”, an inescapable social context in which he is embedded. Thus Taylor emphasizes the basic connection between the self and the community, which is being falsely compromised by social atomism. This emphasis on the community, on the essential role of the link between individual and his social environment rank him among so called communitarians, the critics of the predominant individualistic liberal way of thinking. In his more recent works, especially A Secular Age Taylor reflects on the phenomenon of secularization of the modern West. Here the notion, inspired partially by Wittgenstein, of “background” – an implicit framework for the beliefs of an agent – plays an important role. The following text will show more in detail the most important Wittgensteinian inspirations in the philosophical reflection of Charles Taylor considering modern western culture.
Wittgenstein-Studien – de Gruyter
Published: Feb 21, 2018
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