A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week 186

The general feature of life that I want to evoke is its fundamentally dialogical character. We become full human agents, capable of understanding ourselves, and hence defining an identity, through our acquisition of rich human languages of expression. For purposes of this discussion, I want to take “language” in a broad sense, covering not only the words we speak but also other modes of expression whereby we define ourselves, including the “languages” of art, of gesture, of love, and the like. But we are inducted into these in exchange with others. No one acquires the languages needed for self-definition on their own.

— from Charles Taylor’s The Ethics of Authenticity

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