VIDEO: Do Philosophers Have an Obligation to the World?

Charles Taylor on Why Those Who See a Path to Positive Change Must Share It

Philosophy has a reputation for being abstract and analytical, somewhat apart from the world. So we asked Charles Taylor if philosophers have an obligation to the world we live in. After this segment he continued talking about the idea of how our modern selves cope with change and can adapt to new and previously unthinkable concepts. “In the world we’re living in you re-gestalt the way you see things and become a different person,” he said. “It can be done.”

Taylor’s most recent book is The Language Animal, …

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VIDEO: Why Should Philosophers Go Into Politics?

How Charles Taylor's Foray Into Public Life Provoked Conversations That Fueled the Life of the Mind

Philosopher Charles Taylor has had a life in politics as well as academia. During the 1950s, when he was studying philosophy at Oxford, he wrote and edited Universities and …

VIDEO: What Does Poetry Prove About Humans?

A Philosopher Explains How Romantic Verse Shows the Moral Capacity of Language

In 1798, poet William Wordsworth and his sister took a walk in the Welsh countryside. The poem he wrote about that walk—“Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”—moved …

VIDEO: What Does Philosophy Need to Do in the Future?

Charles Taylor Urges His Peers to Think Like Historians, Musicians, and Sociologists

Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor is the 2016 recipient of the Berggruen Philosophy Prize for ideas that shape the world. His work has crossed disciplines from philosophy to political science, …

VIDEO: How to Struggle With Big Questions

For Charles Taylor, It Starts With Embracing and Overcoming Confusion

Charles Taylor’s 1989 book Sources of the Self is about 600 pages long, drawing on history, philosophy, poetry, music, and art to explain how the modern Western sense of …

VIDEO: Is Fighting Populist Anger a Losing Battle?

A Philosopher, Armed With "Crazy Optimism," Lays Out His Three-Front Counter-Attack

Populist anger is shaking the world, epitomized by the U.K.’s vote to “Brexit” the EU and even the election of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. In the U.S., …