Charles Taylor: On Paul Ricoeur

Abstract: The focus of the lecture was Paul Ricoeur's philosophical anthropology. Charles Taylor puts Ricouer's thought in the context of the battles in philosophical anthropology in the 20th century. He explains how Ricoeur gave up the idea that there is a short royal road to understanding human beings, be this reductive science, structuralism or Husserlian direct introspection and developed his own hermeneutical approach in which we presume our own enigmatic status and strive to understand ourselves by painstakingly coming to a better understanding of our history, religions, ideologies, institutions, manners of writing literature and creating art. Hence the laborious work of Ricoeur, going in depth into various aspects of these, reading massively in all directions. A very vast enterprise, but the only way to do this kind of thing!

Charles Taylor is one of the most eminent philosophers in the world. He has received numerous awards that include the Prix Léon-Gérin by the Québec government (1992), the Templeton Prize (2007) and the Kyoto Prize (2008). He was made a Grand officier of the Ordre national du Québec and a Companion of the Order of Canada. Among his many books are: Hegel, Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity, and A Secular Age.


25 November 2013
Multipurpose Hall, India International Centre