Charles Taylor, who has turned 84 just last month, easily makes it to every list of the most influential living philosophers. His most acclaimed book, “Sources of the self”, placed him among communitarian thinkers, but his scope is much wider than that. Not only he has written much on social and political philosophy, but also on the intellectual history, on philosophy of social sciences and, especially, on religion. Two months ago all these contribution were recognized when he, along with Jürgen Habermas, was awarded John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity.
His Quebec lecture at the London School of Economics on 1 December was entitled “Democracy, Diversity, Religion” (it can be downloaded from LSE website), and aimed at showing how the experience of the Canadian province in managing its very diverse minorities can help address similar problems in other Western societies. (As it turned out, Taylor is sceptical about the possibility of generalizing the Québécois solutions.)