25 February, 2021

A Hegel In Conversation With Our Times

Charles Taylor’s philosophy speaks to the conditions of the modern world...in a common language. And it’s deeply plural, in an Indian way.

A Hegel In Conversation With Our Times

There are many reasons why I cannot think of anyone more suitable than Charles Taylor for the inaugural Berggruen Prize in philosophy. For a start, his range of concerns takes one’s breath away. Cutting across specialist boundaries, Taylor has written illuminatingly about a wide spectrum of philosophical topics in moral theory, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, aesthetics and political theory as well as on the history of ideas and the history of pol­itical and social thought. He draws upon and speaks insightfully on a wide variety of philosophical traditions—at ease equally in the Anglo-Saxon analytical tradition as he is in the Continental tradition.

Richard Rorty once remarked that Charles Taylor is the Hegel of our times. This is only partly true. The similarities are many. Like Hegel, Taylor thinks big, connecting disparate things, bringing them together to see the whole picture. Like him, he is a philosopher of modernity. Yet, Taylor’s thinking departs significantly from Hegel’s approach. For example, Taylor is not a...

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