Far Eastern University Colloquium, Vol 3, No 1 (2009)

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The Phenomenology of Personhood: Charles Taylor and Edmund Husserl

Dermot Moran


This paper argues that Charles Taylor’s influential accounts of embodied personhood and agency are closer to the phenomenological accounts of personhood found in the mature Husserl (especially his Ideas II and in his ethics lectures) than, perhaps, he realises. Taylor acknowledges the influence of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger (through the lens of Hubert Dreyfus) but tends to see Husserl as imprisoned within the Cartesian tradition that begins from the certainty of self-consciousness. I shall develop relevant aspects of embodied, situated subjectivity found in Husserl and shared by Taylor; and, finally, I shall reflect on the difficult problematic of the relation between natural and transcendental approaches to personhood.



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ISSN 2012-0222 (Print)