Dissertation > Political, legal > Political Theory > History of Political Science,History of Political Thought

The Study on the Idea of Charles Taylor’s Political Identity

Author GaoFei
Tutor LinShaoMin
School Fujian Normal University
Course Political Theory
Keywords Charles Taylor Self-Identity Cultural Identity Political Identity
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Facing the cross-purposes condition of contemporary debate between liberals and communitarians, Charles Taylor proposes the debate should be transferred to "Procedural Liberalism" and "civic humanism". According to Taylor, "Procedural Liberalism" claim "self prior to objective" on the ontology, atomic-self of it leads to the crisis of self-identity owing to denial of cultural constitutive character, and its argument of "rights prior to the good" not only does not solve the inherent rejection of democracy, but also leads to political fragmentation. In order to achieve a virtuous circle of political identity, Taylor stands for linguistic self language on the ontology, he considers man is the self-hermeneutic animal, who can achieve self-identity only in the dialogue with other people. In his view, self-identity is essentially a cultural identity question, and the cultural identity only can be truly achieved in the "Politics of Recognition" by the "meta-topical" public domain, thus political identity or consensus also is achieved through cultural identity. As a teleologist, Taylor also believes that the religion should take an important part in political identity of the secular. Taylor’s idea of political identity has both advantages and disadvantages. It transcends both the politics of equal dignity and the politics of difference to some extent, links the negative freedom and positive freedom, but it has the danger of self-shielding, may fall into a impasse, and the" meta-topical " public domain is merely imagined by Taylor. Thus, communitarians and liberals both don’t really answer the question of political identity. The possible treatment is to return to Marx. We should regard the people as a generative being, who achieves the true political identity in the dialogue. To contemporary China, the key to achieve the true political identity is to construct civil society founded on the rights of individuals.

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