Charles Taylor

Their identities were not recognized as being equal

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Unformatted text preview: ties were not recognized as being equal, but Taylor argues that it was not their differences, but their similarities with others that made it wrong. Everyone is capable of reason, love, memory, and dialogical recognition, and we have decided that these are things that we all value. Through dialogue we have determined that these are standards of value on which the identities concerned check out as equal (52). The recognition of the equal value of different identities requires that these things take form against a background of a horizon of values which can only be formed dialogically. We decide on a shared horizon of significance and the dialogue is what allows us to determine what standards of value by which we judge the equality of different identities. Taylors analysis about the malaises of modernity really captures the essence of the problem. We truly have a problem with emphasizing individualism and instrumental reason. We have made everything relative to one's own personal values and desires to do whatever benefits oneself in getting to the next point in one's life. We have ignored that we ought to really strive towards some final goal, and tend to push aside our desires that help us get to this ultimate end in favor of those desires which grant us immediate short-term achievements. Taylor is also right that the proper way of tackling this problem is authenticity. We ought to constantly look at ourselves and stay true to the life goals that we should set for ourselves. However, this is not something we are able to accomplish in isolation. We are social creatures and it is our ability to communicate with others and share in a dialogue with others in creating our identity and our life goals that sets us apart from other animals. Others animals can have trouble in forming a conception of self identity. A dog, when it...
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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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