Charles TAYLOR

Charles TAYLOR

2003 Social Social

Born in 1931 in Montreal to an anglophone father and a francophone mother, Charles Taylor studied at McGill University where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1952.

A Rhodes Scholar-the first of his many international distinctions-Professor Taylor continued his studies at Oxford University where he earned a degree in political science, philosophy and economics. In 1956, he was named Fellow at Oxford's All Souls College, a position he held until 1961. At the time, Oxford was considered the most important centre of Anglo-American philosophy in the world. Indeed, his years at Oxford shaped his entire teaching career since political philosophy became his main field of thought.

After leaving the All Souls Fellowship in 1961, he joined the Department of Political Science at McGill University, and the Université de Montréal in 1963, where this renowned philosopher and theoretician remained for some 10 years.
He was elected to the Chichele Chair at Oxford, the most prestigious chair in political philosophy in the world. In some respects, this was the crowning achievement of an already illustrious career for this renowned philosopher, whose teachings and extensive writings and speeches have stimulated and advanced thought on major political topics and themes. Professor Taylor left Oxford in 1981 to return to teach at McGill.

In addition to many noteworthy articles, Charles Taylor has published a series of books over the past 35 years that have propelled him to the top of the ranks of leading contemporary philosophers: The Explanation of Behaviour, 1964; Hegel, 1975; Sources of the Self, 1989; The Malaise of Modernity, 1991; and Philosophical Arguments, 1995. His works draw not only from the major political and social philosophers such as Rousseau, Marx and the Frankfurt School, but also from the giants Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Kant and Hegel.

Professor Taylor has tried to apply his research in existential and phenome-nological philosophy to practical political issues and especially to his ongoing efforts to explain Quebec and English Canada to each other, as evidenced in his book, Reconciling the Solitudes (Rapprocher les solitudes), published simultaneously in both languages in 1992.
Charles Taylor is one of the great thinkers of our time. His works have been translated into many languages, and his comments on various contemporary issues, including individual rights and collective responsi-bility, serve as a source of reference for academics and researchers interested in the progress of civilization. Honoured on many occasions for his work, Charles Taylor was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada in 1996 and Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 2000.