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Les Lumières de Charles Taylor

Céline Spector 1 
1 SND - Sciences, Normes, Démocratie [Paris]
SU - Sorbonne Université, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : UMR8011
Abstract : This contribution will question Charles Taylor's interpretation of the Enlightenment. Why did he analyze deism and materialism as a misdirection of modernity? Why did he consider that Enlightenment philosophy misunderstood the way in which subjectivity could ground its moral and political aspirations? I will show that the "radical" Enlightenment, according to Taylor, produces an incoherent account of morality and politics: it postulates that social harmony proceeds from self-interest, thanks to legislative and educational engineering; but it does not explain why the ideal of a harmonious society is worth pursuing. The author of The Sources of the Self thus confirms the widespread idea of an incoherence of the materialist philosophes: their hedonistic and selfish psychology is incompatible with their ethics, which aims for the greatest happiness of the greatest number. The Enlightenment is therefore made responsible for a contradictory vision of morality and an impoverished vision of the self.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 12:19:15 PM
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Céline Spector. Les Lumières de Charles Taylor. Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale, Presses Universitaires de France, 2020, Charles Taylor, pp.497-512. ⟨10.3917/rmm.204.0497⟩. ⟨hal-03149815⟩

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