Taylor and feminism: From recognition of identity to a politics of the good

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The most obvious point of contact between the work of Charles Taylor and feminism is his reflections on the politics of recognition. Taylor has been a noteworthy advocate of the view that members of distinct cultural and social groups deserve to be recognized for who they interpret themselves to be and allowed to pursue their collective survival as they understand its requirements. To the extent that specifically feminist questions have been posed in and of Taylor's work, they have arisen on the terrain of the politics of recognition. For instance, Taylor includes “some forms of feminism” in his discussion of those groups that seek recognition in today's politics. In their critical engagement of his thinking, both Susan Wolf and Linda Nicholson question Taylor's apparent assumption that his arguments about distinct cultural identities can be applied to women as a social category. My aim in this essay is not to elaborate the relationship between Taylor's work and feminism using the politics of recognition as a conceptual bridge. To the extent that both Taylor and feminists operate under the rubric of the politics of recognition of identity, I find their formulations to be symptomatic of some of the most questionable aspects of contemporary political thinking and culture. However, I do want to suggest that we can find a promising alternative to Taylor's formulation of the politics of identity within his own corpus, namely, a politics of the good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCharles Taylor
EditorsRuth Abbey
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780511610837
ISBN (Print)0521801362, 9780521801362
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

Publication series

NameContemporary Philosophy in Focus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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