The Modern Mind

The Modern Mind

There seems to be a connection, historical and perhaps even logical, between metaphysics and morality; that is, between views about the nature of being or knowledge and views about justice and the good. A vague sense (which is surely all that most of us have) of this connection is one thing, however; an original, rigorous, and comprehensive historical account is something else again—an immense achievement. Yet this is only one feature of Charles Taylor’s monumental book. Sources of the Self bears out, to some extent at least, a seemingly extravagant compliment proffered by Richard Rorty in reviewing Taylor’s Collected Papers (1985): “He is attempting nothing less than a synthesis of moral reflection with intellectual history, one which will do for our time what Hegel did for his.” Here is Taylor’s own statement of his aims:

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