From Library Journal
This book is primarily a historical account of the modernist protest against the disengaged and instrumental modes of thought and action that arose when theistically grounded morality crumbled, but that themselves focused too little upon our inner life, i.e., our powers of creative imagination and the substantive goods of ordinary life, which Taylor alleges give meaning to human life. Associating each ideology with a particular conception of our identity as selves, he defends the modern view, keeping in mind that self-realization must recognize that some things are important beyond the self. Taylor rambles somewhat and often talks about " the good," as though human beings were fungible in their capacities for appreciation and action; but the wealth of illustrative material and frequent insights are thought-provoking. For scholarly collections.- Robert Hoffman, York Coll., CUNY
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Taylor has taken on the most delicate and exacting of philosophical questions, the question of who we are and how we should live...and he has made this an adventure of self-discovery for his reader. To have accomplished so much is an important philosophical achievement. (New Republic
)Sources of the Self
is in every sense a large book: in length and in the range of what it covers, but above all in the generosity and breadth of its sympathies and its interest in humanity...Few books on such large subjects are so engaging. (Bernard Williams New York Review of Books
A magnificent account, full, fair, well read, well written, complicated and high spirited--a credit, one might say, to the modern self that is capable of plumbing the depths of its own heritage in such a generous way. (Jeremy Waldron Times Literary Supplement
Surely one of the most important philosophical works of the last quarter of a century. (Jerome Bruner)
For sociologists, there is no more important philosopher writing in the world today than Charles Taylor. (Alan Wolfe Contemporary Sociology
Undoubtedly one of the most significant works in moral philosophy and the history of ideas to appear in recent decades. (Frances S. Adeney Theology Today