Thumbs Down to Charles Taylor

March 8, 2011

Returning after a 10-day hiatus to The Ethics of Identity, Appiah is discussing Charles Taylor’s assertion that culture is “intrinsically good”, not merely contingently or instrumentally good for individuals. This type of thinking (Alasdair MacIntyre is another philosopher of this ilk) strikes me as dangerous.

2 objections occur to me.

With such an ideology:-
1. The individual is sacrificed to a (fanciful) conception of community.
2. There is no scope for what Mill called ‘experiments in living’.

Women would still be behind the sink and gays still in the closet, to give just the most obvious examples.


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