Are You an Optimist?

By Zócalo Public Square

It’s harder to be an optimist when times are uncertain than when they are relatively sunny. Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, professor emeritus at McGill University, explains the sources of his optimism.

Since the 1960s Taylor has written about the humanities, sociology, political science, and the history of philosophy. Through his writing (16 books plus contributions to many others), teaching, and collaborations, Taylor has plumbed the mysteries of how we understand ourselves as well as how we may come to understand others who hold markedly different beliefs and values. In addition to his academic work, he has been involved in politics in Canada and has worked (via public dialogue) on the tricky issues of multiculturalism and cultural identity.