Multiculturalism and its Discontents

A reading of Charles Taylor on the State, comparing his views with those of John Rawls.

In the Western world at the end of the late twentieth century, two visions of the state are struggling for dominance. Under the first view, the state is seen as a skeletal structure whose main purpose is to promote individual “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. However, many critics have attacked this view as being both oppressive and illusory. The views of Charles Taylor and John Rawls are compared in this paper.