Guest Post: Mattheus von Guttenberg on an Exploration of the Validity and Necessary Content of Transcendental Argumentation
The following guest post is from Mattheus von Guttenberg, who is currently studying history and economics at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida and writes for the blog Economic Thought. Click here to get in touch with Mattheus!
Charles Taylor, in his seminal work Sources of the Self, puts forward an argument on the relationship between identity and moral truth using a variety of methods, but most notably that of the transcendental argument. Taylor, belonging to what might roughly be called a Neo-Aristotelian camp of moral philosophers, argues that we can derive moral truth by virtue of a moral ontology intrinsic to us as perceptive and evaluative subjects. While the transcendental argument Taylor employs does not appear to us readily and clearly, it is nonetheless the entire vertebrae of his argument without which we would have no reason to accept his conclusions. D.P. Baker, of the University of Natal in South Africa, has written cogently on this topic. Because it carries such persuasive potential, I feel a devoted exploration of Taylor’s transcendental argument, as well as Baker’s contribution to the discussion, is in order. It is my opinion that Taylor does not successfully prove his claim on morality as the content of his argument is inappropriate to the form in which he carries it.