The possibility of God: An examination and evaluation of Charles Taylor's transcendental critique of closed worlds

Zane G Yi, Fordham University

Abstract

I interpret Charles Taylor's recent magnum opus, A Secular Age, as a dialectal and transcendental critique of theories that make religious beliefs seem pre-reflectively implausible. By situating this work in relation to Taylor's larger body of work on phenomenology, hermeneutics, ethics, and theories of modernity, I provide a comprehensive interpretation, defense, and evaluation of his method and arguments. The arguments I explicate and develop focus on identifying and undermining the following sets of background beliefs and theories: (a) representational epistemology, (b) subtraction stories of modernity, and (c) ethical humanism. While Taylor does not conclusively demonstrate that these theories are false, he shows that the assumptions he identifies are significantly disputed and, furthermore, provides superior, alternative options. I draw out the significant epistemic implications this has for current debates about the rationality of theism.^

Subject Area

Religion, General|Religion, Philosophy of|Philosophy

Recommended Citation

Yi, Zane G, "The possibility of God: An examination and evaluation of Charles Taylor's transcendental critique of closed worlds" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3600061.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3600061

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