Philosopher King: Charles Taylor

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Our project Game Changer focuses on Charles Taylor. We speak with the Canadian, the philosopher and public intellectual so admired that last month scholars from three continents gathered in Montreal to talk about his prolific and provoking contributions to society.



Part Three of The Current

Tuesday Mail

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Philosopher King: Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor is an internationally-renowned philosopher and intellectual, spending most of his prolific career at McGill University in Montreal. He's written fifteen books and many, many academic papers -- but he's not one for the ivory tower.


During the 60s he ran for Parliament as an NDP candidate -- losing four times, once to Pierre Trudeau. Mr. Taylor waded into public life to debate federalism and Quebec's status during the 1980s. He delivered the CBC's Massey Lectures in 1991. And, more recently, he worked alongside Gerard Bouchard in the highly publicized Bouchard-Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodation of religious minorities in Quebec.

In 2007 he was awarded the Templeton Prize for inquiry into the spiritual dimensions of life. It came with 1.5 million dollars... more money than even the Nobel Prize. And if all those accomplishments aren't enough to convince you Charles Taylor is a real game changer, 27 scholars from three continents came to Montreal for a conference on his career.

Charles Taylor was at his home in Montreal.

Before we go, we heard from Nigel DeSouza, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Ottawa. He did his undergraduate degree at McGill - and Charles Taylor was one of his professors. He visited Charles Taylor after class one day and we aired a clip.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson.

Last Word - Obama on Sixty Minutes

We spoke earlier today with Peter Bergen about the last moments of Osama bin laden. The decision to launch the raid was the prerogative of one man: the President of the United States. Barack Obama appeared on Sixty Minutes not long after the operation to explain his reasoning.

It's clear the attack was meticulously planned and the commandos were well prepared. But President Obama admitted he was never absolutely sure the al Qaeda leader really was in the compound.

On today's Last word, we aired a clip of Barack Obama on a defining moment of his presidency.


Other segments from today's show:

Manhunt: The Ten Year search for Bin Laden

Changes to the Fisheries Act

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