“Where Language Can Lead” ft. McGill University’s Charles Taylor I Saturdays at Seven Ep. 36

In the thirty-sixth episode of the “Saturdays at Seven” conversation series, Todd Ream talks with Charles Taylor, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at McGill University. Ream and Taylor open by exploring the relationship shared by perceptions of selfhood and perceptions of how societies organize themselves. Taylor then addresses what happens when misalignment between the two occurs as various perceptions of selfhood come into conflict with one another in common social and political spaces. Ream and Taylor then discuss Taylor’s calling to academic philosophy yet how that calling was never entirely divorced from Taylor’s commitment to public service. For example, Ream and Taylor discuss Taylor’s service as co-chair of the Québec Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences. After discussing the impact Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Edmund Husserl made on Taylor’s thinking about selfhood, Ream and Taylor explore how Taylor identified and framed the questions he pursued in works such as Sources of the Self and A Secular Age. Following up on these works, Ream asks Taylor to explore the significance of Taylor’s most recent works, The Language Animal and Cosmic Connections. They then close their conversation by discussing Taylor’s perceptions of the academic vocation along with when and how scholars can be of service as public intellectuals.