Strong Evaluation and Ontological Gaps. Reinterpreting Charles Taylor

Date: 9 June 2016

Venue: Stadscampus - Promotiezaal (Grauwzusters) - Lang Sint-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerpen

Time: 3:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte

PhD candidate: Michiel Meijer

Principal investigator: prof. dr. Guy Vanheeswijck & prof. dr. Willem Lemmens

Short description: Doctoraatsverdediging Michiel Meijer - Departement Wijsbegeerte - Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte.

Strong Evaluation and Ontological Gaps. Reinterpreting Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor is a key figure in a number of philosophical debates. The breadth of his work is unique, ranging as it does from reflections on human nature and moral experience to analyses of the ontological commitments of contemporary secular societies. His arguments not only combine ethics with philosophical anthropology, but also have a way of interweaving phenomenological and ontological reflections with ethical inquiries.

This thesis provides a comprehensive critical account of Taylor’s writings. It argues that a close examination of his central concept of “strong evaluation” reveals both the potential of and the tensions in his entire thinking. The analysis pursues the development of his thought from his very first philosophical papers (1958–1959) until his most recent reflections in Retrieving Realism (2015). It also examines in detail Taylor’s ambitious philosophical project: to connect arguments in philosophical anthropology, ethics, phenomenology, and ontology across the full range of his diverse writings. The thesis therefore specifically traces the links between Taylor’s arguments, with strong evaluation as their unifying leitmotiv.


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