Charles Taylor

In this manner of thinking there is nothing outside

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Unformatted text preview: In this manner of thinking there is nothing outside ones opinions that ought to hold any weight, including what anybody else in the community might think. Even though many of us tend to hold the same values and make the same choices, we can break away from the norm if that action suits us best. Taylor explains that in soft relativism, all opinions are equally worthy, because they are freely chosen, and it is choice that confers worth (37). Here, Taylor argues against soft relativism by explaining how choice cannot determine what is significant. If every person is able to make choices about what is truly valuable, then everything is capable of being significant. This then contradicts the definition of significance itself; if everything can be chosen to be significant, then what is more valuable or less valuable than anything else, which things are actually significant? No choice is better than any other. Taylor explains that people are able to choose different ways of being, but since choice is not a correct horizon of significance it is not a true grounds of the equality of different ways of being. In a very similar, logical manner, Taylor explains how difference is also an insignificant grounding for the equal value of different ways of being. On page 36 Taylor says that in the contemporary culture of authenticity there is a subjectivism about value. We have come to accept that we can choose what is significant about our differences, no matter how trivial they may be. Drawing off of similar logic to that explained above, Taylor says that one cannot simply choose what differences are significant. One must be able to explain why something is significant for the claim to be comprehendible, but if it needs an explanation to be recognized as significant then it is able to be criticized. The opi...
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course PHIL 050 taught by Professor Pinker during the Spring '08 term at Georgetown.

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