Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taylor's Method

I think it’s important to recognize the centrality of story in Taylor’s method. “Why tell a story?,” he asks (28-29). In part this is necessary because he is countering “subtraction stories” (26-27) which simply see modernity as the sloughing off of superstition and enchantment. Because those are inadequate, Taylor needs to offer a rival story.

But ultimately, akin to MacIntyre, Taylor seems to recognize that we are “narrative animals”: that we define who we are, and what we ought to do, on the basis of what story we see ourselves in. While we might have all kinds of syllogistic criticisms of secularism or the new atheism or “exclusive humanism,” Taylor suggests that one could really only counter them if you have an equally cogent story to tell.

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