These notes are for students in Dr. Scott Moore's PHI 1305.

Charles Taylor, The Ethics of Authenticity

Important Terms and Concepts--Chapter 5: The Need for Recognition



Lockean individualism-- John Locke's atomist notion of the individual as a contractual agent who gains control of his or her knowledge through a disengaged rationality based on experience. Locke's notion affirms an ideal of independence and self-responsibility.

contractual agent-- a human being whose actions can be understood as having the characteristics of a "contract." For instance, if one enters a relationship, one might understand both parties as having certain obligations and certain privileges. If either party fails to exercise those obligations or demands other privileges, the relationship can be dissolved.

modern notion of human dignity-- the notion of the essential worth of human beings. Taylor argues that dignity has replaced "honour" in the preoccupation with recognition as a component of identity.


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