The Road Not Taken Moral Approach Analysis

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Taylor’s Moral Ontology and The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
- Robert Frost

In the famous poem by the poet-philosopher Robert Frost a hiker encounters two roads that diverge and must choose one path or another. Frost presents the decision as a matter of chance as there is no guide and both paths are equally beguiling. In the end, “with a sigh,” the hiker declares that taking the one less traveled “had made all the difference.” What Frost has subtly illustrated in The Road Not Taken, it’s the choosing, and not the road, that’s important. The moral ontology of Charles Taylor
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Yet Taylor sees this competitiveness as healthy and that one good should not retrocede to another through repression or elimination. However, it’s within this framework that the stronger goods of superior qualitative distinction will emerge. Of larger significance and hierarchical necessity are Taylor’s concept of “hypergoods”. These are also the goods of which one is most desirous and passionate towards as they represent the core of one’s identity. It is against these hypergoods that all other goods are judged, contrasted, and considered. Acceptance of the hypergood is connected in a complex way with one being moved by it.” At this level is what I described earlier as the “constitutive good” or a framework with moral sources. The awareness of the hypergood is predicated by these moral sources as the fountainhead of inspiration and motivation. These constitutive goods may or may not transcend the self, but always engenders a personal morality and praxis. As Taylor states – “High standards need strong sources.” Certainly Stan has had many challenges and societal conflicts as he made his own personal lifestyle decisions. However, through Stan’s attunement to his hypergood …show more content…
Taylor discloses that “rifts” might tear at the constitutive goods and by consequence the moral sources. These multitudes of discordant agents are driven by contemporary societal norms and expectations such as justice, equality, and safety. Stan’s understanding of his selfhood is affected by his understanding of how he relates to the societal good. Taylor states that the anticipation of a conflicted good, which is “in some respects unprecedented in human culture,” must also underwrite “the evolution of new understanding of agency and selfhood.” These new sociocratic narratives (authority derived of social constructs) can mutate the moral sense of self and detach it from the “self” of “I am.” If susceptible, Stan’s sense of self can be diluted to a state no more exceptional than an internal organ (Taylor uses hearts and livers). Taylor conclusion then, is that this evolving detachment (due to many actors) away from an integral understanding of the “self” can create false moral visions. One can knowingly be a false agent, a ‘sham”, but will continue on with the charade. The consequence is, as Taylor proposes, a society of collective pseudo-individuals raging in the ebb of “the morale conflicts of modern

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