In Search of the Good Life: A Pedogogy for Troubled Times

by Fred Dallmayr

Availablepaperback$28.00s 978-0-8131-6628-5
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338 pages  Pubdate: 12/31/2015  6 x 9  

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To whom should we look for moral guidance during times of global violence, scarcity, and corruption? For two millennia, Aristotle’s writings have taught that the ethically “good life” is the highest purpose of human existence. In In Search of the Good Life, renowned philosopher Fred Dallmayr traces the development of this notion, illuminating the connections between Greek philosophy, Judeo-Christian tradition, Eastern religions, and postindustrial social criticism. Dallmayr searches the writings of Bonaventure, Nicolaus of Cusa, Leibniz, Montesquieu, and others, for models of the good life. In Search of the Good Life, however, is not merely an academic exercise. Dallmayr’s investigations apply directly to a number of contemporary issues: the relevance of the classics, the global spread of democracy, appropriate responses to evil, and the public role of religion in a democracy. Dallmayr reinvigorates the notion of the good life as a hallmark of personal conduct, civic virtue, and political engagement, seeking to roust a complacent and self-indulgent citizenry out of a fog of modern amusements and distractions.

Fred Dallmayr is not only a major figure in critical theory and political philosophy but also an exemplary teacher who cares deeply about the future of Paideia. Don't miss this powerful and poignant book! -- Cornel West, Princeton University

-- Drucilla Cornell, author of Between Women and Generations: Legacies of Dignity

With an unsurpassed humane vision of the future, reinforced by an erudite command of philosophical perspectives, Fred Dallmayr's latest book offers brilliant guidance in dark times. It is an inspiring and indispensable text for all of us dedicated to the struggle for a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. -- Richard Falk, author of The Declining World Order

It is rare to find such erudition and breadth of philosophical perspective, and rarer still to see it born with such modesty. The reader is treated to a series of journeys from East to West and classical to contemporary, each one illuminating different facets of human well-being and peace, and showing how these ends cannot be pursued in narrow and merely personal ways, but rather must always be envisioned in relation to spiritual, moral and political communities. One finishes this book with a deep sense of having learned much about the peculiar rhythm of a life well-lived. -- Stephen K. White, author of The Recent Work of Jurgen Habermas: Reason, Justice