Culture is defined as the way a group of people live and it encompasses the norms, values and distinct social features.To Taylor, culture is the standards of authentic individual and collective self expression amongst a group of people…
The society is a framework within which different people interact to create various inclinations and trends which define the culture3. The world is a dynamic place and as changes occur in societies, there are numerous tendencies that makes it impossible for cultures to continue to be transferred from generation to generation. This therefore brings to play the concept of “cultural survival” which is concerned with the ability of a given culture to stand the test of time that comes with modernisation4. Professor Charles Taylor supports the communitarian school of thought which claims that the idea of individualism evolved as a consequence of some failures in the development of the modern Eurocentric society5. Due to individualism, the risk of cultural survival is now higher than it has ever been in the past. He holds that the replacement of communal structures with individualism is gradually causing the human race to lose important morals and values. As an antidote to this, communitarians believe that the social structures should be rebuilt and this can be done through enhancing different cultures in a given nation. This idea has become popularly known as the recognition of culture. Recognition of culture therefore refers to the respect of people's distinct cultures and allowing different people to practice their different cultures in a given nation. ...
Taylor's argument, called the politics of equal respect implies that distinct cultures will have to be respected and allowed to thrive in a nation, even if it comes with wide differences. Theoretically, the recognition of culture means that if people from extremely different ends of the world come together in a given geographical area, they should be allowed to maintain their unique values, irrespective of how different they are. It is therefore obvious that this position of Taylor gives room for a wide diversity of possibilities which cannot go unchecked. In this paper, I examine the key debates of Taylor in relation to the concept of the recognition of differences in cultures. I will critically assess the validity of the communitarian views on the subject by comparing them to counter arguments and criticisms of his ideas. I will utilise various philosophical positions and ideologies of various thinkers and theorists and use them to validate or reject various propositions presented by Taylor and other communitarians. The paper argues that the idea of communitarianism is the best way for the survival of today's society and although there are some inherent challenges in it that threaten to prevent cohesion it is the only viable option in socializing children. The Basis of Taylor's Argument Taylor, in his book Ethics of Authenticity built a strong case against the existing systems and structures in the modern society. He identifies that there are three main 'malaises' or cankers in our modern society that are potentially dangerous to the current society7. The first malaise is the concept of individualism. People tend to have the freedom to decide what is right and choose to do it for themselves. Thus, whatever is convenient to an individual ...
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