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The Self

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Chapter Summary

Taylor recognizes the 'modern self ' - his primary object of analysis - to be a particular mode of subjectivity. While Taylor is clear that the self, like meaning, is always constructed in a (social) field, his analysis of this 'field' is typically limited to the social constellation that we call 'modernity'. In contrast, Castoriadis provides a rich and fecund theorization of the social-historical per se. This chapter aims at revealing that Taylor's account of self-identity does not fully account for the depths and difficulties entailed in the construction of a human subject as a social individual. The author engages with Taylor's conception of subjectivity, or rather with particular aspects of it. The chapter addresses the problems of the 'subject of knowledge' - the 'epistemological subject' - that has plagued modern philosophy since Descartes, and which continues to provide, in one form or another, the basis of the scientistic approach to objective knowledge.

Keywords: Castoriadis; modern philosophy; modern self; self-identity; Taylor's epistemology



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