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Document Details :
Title: From the Field to the Forest
Subtitle: A Book Review Essay on Charles Taylor's Dilemmas and Connections
Author(s): LATRÉ, Stijn
Volume: 72 Issue: 4 Date: 2011
Charles Taylor’s Dilemmas and Connections contains three parts. The first one, Allies and Interlocutors, reads as Taylor’s tribute to some of his lifetime philosophical interlocutors and opponents. The most interesting chapter is that on Iris Murdoch, which presents a neat summary of his moral theory. The second part deals with Taylor’s social and political philosophy. The third and last part consists of an elaboration of themes from A Secular Age. These elaborations mainly focus on two themes: the link between modernity, religion and violence on the one hand, and the meaning of the axial revolution on the other. I criticize Taylor for being too vague and shallow on his notions of transcendence and internal realism, for his inadequate presentation of Rene Girard’s scapegoat mechanism theory, and for his one-sided interpretation of the axial revolution as a shift from moral opaqueness to moral purity and unity.