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Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. He is the author of[…]

Sandel, on Charles Taylor’s philosophy.

Question: Whose work are you watching?

Michael Sandel: I suppose the political philosopher – the contemporary political philosopher – whose work I most admire is someone who was a teacher of mine, and who I admire most, and that’s Charles Taylor, who held a professorship in political theory at Oxford during the days that I was there as a graduate student. And he was also very actively involved in Canadian politics … time. And he … he’s nominally in retirement, but he’s still active in producing important work. But from Charles Taylor, I learned about Aristotle, and about Hagel, and about the tension between the enlightenment project – which gives rise to universal notions from modern liberalism – and other traditions … the republican tradition, the romantic tradition, and also religious traditions that are intentioned with modern understandings of the self. So I would say Charles Kaylor is really, among contemporary philosophers, my hero.

Recorded on: 6/12/07