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Narrative, History, Critique

  • ULF BOHMANN (a1)

In Chapter 8 of The Language Animal, Charles Taylor claims that narratives are unsubstitutable for an appropriate understanding of social life and ‘human affairs’ in general. In order to identify open questions in his argumentation as well as unwanted consequences of his outlook, I proceed in three consecutive steps. I first problematize Taylor’s distinction between laws and stories, then go on to address his intentional blurring of stories and histories, and finally suggest that the concept of genealogy might be a promising candidate for describing Taylor’s approach, concluding that he implicitly forms the equation: narrative equals history equals critique.

Dans le huitième chapitre de The Language Animal, Charles Taylor affirme que les narrations ne peuvent se substituer à une compréhension adéquate de la vie sociale et «affaires humaines» en général. Afin d’isoler quelques-unes des questions laissées en suspens dans son argumentation et les conséquences non intentionnelles de son approche, je procéderai en trois étapes successives. Premièrement, je questionnerai la distinction qu’il établit entre lois et récits; deuxièmement, j’aborderai le flou intentionnel qu’il maintient entre récits et histoires; enfin, je suggérerai que le concept de généalogie pourrait s’avérer approprié pour décrire l’approche de Taylor. Je conclurai en avançant qu’il formule implicitement une équation : la narration équivaut à l’histoire qui, à son tour, équivaut à la critique.

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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
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