Charles Taylor, The Ethics of Authenticity.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991.
Chapter 1: Three Malaises
Chapter 2: The Inarticulate Debate
- What are the three "malaises" of modernity that Taylor is going to discuss in this volume?
- What are three positive aspects of individualism?
- Why does Taylor think that modern freedom came about, in part, by discrediting the hierarchial orders of the universe as reflected in the hierarchies of human society?
- What is the "disenchantment of the world"?
- What does Taylor mean by the phrase "flattens and narrows our lives"?
- What is "instrumental reason"?
- How does instrumental reason threaten to "take over our lives"?
- According to Taylor, how does technology contribute to the "flattening and narrowing" of our lives?
- Who are the great "theorists of revolution," and what did they propose?
- What is "soft depotism"?
- Why do Tocqueville and Taylor believe that soft depotism threatens our dignity as citizens?
- Does Taylor favor the position of Modernity's boosters or Modernity's knockers?
- What three factors have obscured the importance of authenticity as a moral ideal?
- What is relativism?
- How is this relativism related (allegedly) to the individualism Taylor described in chapter one?
- What is the "powerful moral ideal" which is at work in the relativism which Bloom critiques?
- What is contradictory and self-defeating about the relativist appeal to the moral ideal of authenticity?
- Why do some thinkers want "to banish discussions about the good life to the margins of political debate"?
- What is moral subjectivism, and why can't reason adjudicate moral disputes?
- Why, according to Taylor, does the normal fashion of social science research obscure the importance of authenticity as a moral ideal?
- What is the advantage of explanations which focus on "non-moral" motivations?
- Why does Taylor think that "the affirmation of the power of choice as itself a good to be maximized is a deviant product of the ideal"?
- Why does Taylor claim that his proposal is NOT a "carefully balanced trade-off"?
- What three things does Taylor ask us to believe in order to engage in his "work of retrieval" of the ideal of authenticity?