Ideas

The 1991 CBC Massey Lectures, "The Malaise of Modernity"

Charles Taylor focuses on the key modern concept of self-fulfillment, often attacked as the central support of what Christopher Lasch has called "the culture of narcissism." To Taylor, self-fulfillment, although often expressed in self-centered ways, isn't necessarily a rejection of traditional values and social commitment; it also reflects something authentic and valuable in modern culture. Only by distinguishing what is...

Charles Taylor focuses on the key modern concept of self-fulfillment, often attacked as the central support of what Christopher Lasch has called "the culture of narcissism." 

To Taylor, self-fulfillment, although often expressed in self-centered ways, isn't necessarily a rejection of traditional values and social commitment; it also reflects something authentic and valuable in modern culture.

Only by distinguishing what is good in this modern striving from what is socially and politically dangerous, Taylor says, can our age be made to deliver its promise.

Charles Taylor is emeritus professor of philosophy at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He is also the author of the much acclaimed book, Sources of the Self.

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The 1991 CBC Massey Lectures by Charles Taylor | 48:27
The 1991 CBC Massey Lectures by Charles Taylor | 48:50
The 1991 CBC Massey Lectures by Charles Taylor | 48:22
The 1991 CBC Massey Lectures by Charles Taylor | 49:42
The 1991 CBC Massey Lectures by Charles Taylor | 53:28

The Malaise of Modernity is published by House of Anansi.

Listen to other CBC Massey Lectures