VIDEO: Are You an Optimist?

Charles Taylor on Hope as a Matter of Faith and Morality

It’s harder to be an optimist when times are uncertain than when they are relatively sunny. Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, professor emeritus at McGill University, explains the sources of his optimism.

Since the 1960s Taylor has written about the humanities, sociology, political science, and the history of philosophy. Through his writing (16 books plus contributions to many others), teaching, and collaborations, Taylor has plumbed the mysteries of how we understand ourselves as well as how we may come to understand others who hold markedly different beliefs and values. In addition …

More In: Charles Taylor

VIDEO: Where Is Multiculturalism Working?

Charles Taylor On How The Enthusiasm of Successful Immigrants Affirms Native Pride

Multiculturalism has become a loaded word, with cities like Paris and Brussels becoming emblematic of the failure of the ideal of different cultures and religions living together. Canadian philosopher …

Charles Taylor Ruined My Perfectly Good Consulting Career

How Reading the Philosopher's Sources of the Self Put My Own Sense of Self Through the Wringer

I first met Charles Taylor when I was a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal in 1984.

His classes were like nothing I had encountered as an undergraduate at Oxford …

How Intimacy Fuels Intellectual Breakthroughs

Canadian Philosopher Charles Taylor's Friendship With Indian Scholars Has Inspired Bold Ideas for Over 40 Years

It was, fittingly, through Hegel that I first met Charles Taylor in Oxford. In 1977, I began a post-graduate thesis on Hegel. In love with Western Marxism at that time, …

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 …

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 …