The Limits of Recognition: Culture and Historical Necessity in the Work of Rawls and Taylor

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Canadian political philosophy – particularly the work by Charles Taylor, James
    Tully, andWill Kymlicka – can be read against the changing landscape of Canadian
    constitutional and social history. In this paper, I will trace the genealogy
    of Taylor’s politics of recognition from Rawls’ Theory of Justice, through the
    liberal-communitarian debates to the triumph of liberalism after the fall of the
    Soviet Union. In the form of reading called “contrapuntal” by Edward Said,
    I will then connect Taylor’s theory with the social uprisings of the 1960s, the
    transition to neoliberalism in the 1970s, and the Canadian constitutional debates
    of the 1980s and 1990s. I will argue that Taylor’s communitarianism
    is made possible by Canadian political realities, and are an attempt to provide
    a way to deal adequately with questions of Indigenous and Quebecois
    sovereignty. I will then try to show how Taylor’s philosophy is inadequate to
    the task, and to suggest ways we might better approach these problems as we
    move out of neoliberalism into whatever new conjuncture is coming next.

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  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Presentation
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International