In Search of the Good Life
A Pedagogy for Troubled Times
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Sales Date: 08/31/2007
The great German novelist Thomas Mann implored readers to resist the persistent and growing militarism of the mid-twentieth century. To whom should we turn for guidance during this current era of global violence, political corruption, economic inequality, and environmental degradation? For more than two millennia, the world's great thinkers have held that the ethically "good life" is the highest purpose of human existence. Renowned political philosopher Fred Dallmayr traces the development of this notion, finding surprising connections among Aristotelian ethics, Abrahamic and Eastern religious traditions, German idealism, and postindustrial social criticism.
In Search of the Good Life does not offer a blueprint but rather invites readers on a cross-cultural quest. Along the way, the author discusses the teachings of Aristotle, Confucius, Nicolaus of Cusa, Leibniz, and Schiller, in addition invoking more recent writings of Gadamer and Ricoeur, as guideposts and sources of hope during our troubled times. Among contemporary themes Dallmayr discusses are the role of the classics in education, proper and improper ways of spreading democracy globally, the possibility of transnational citizenship, the problem of politicized evil, and the role of religion in our predominantly secular culture.
Dallmayr restores the notion of the good life as a hallmark of personal conduct, civic virtue, and political engagement, and as the road map to enduring peace. In Search of the Good Life seeks to arouse complacent and dispirited citizens, guiding them out of the distractions of shallow amusements and perilous resentments in the direction of mutual learning and civic pedagogy—a direction that will enable them to impose accountability on political leaders who stray from fundamental ethical standards.
Being in the World: A Moving Feast
After Babel: Journeying toward Cosmopolis
Humanizing Humanity: Education for World Citizenship
Ethics and International Politics: A Response
Befriending the Stranger: Beyond the Global Politics of Fear
The Body Politic: Fortunes and Misfortunes of a Concept
A Secular Age? Reflections on Taylor and Panikkar
Post-Secularity and (Global) Politics: A Need for Radical Redefinition
Political Self-Rule: Gandhi and the Future of Democracy
Radical Changes in the Muslim World: Turkey, Iran, Egypt
Opening the Doors of Interpretation: In Memory of Abu Zayd and Mohammed al-Jabri
Beyond Multiculturalism? For Bhikhu Parekh
Cosmopolitan Confucianism? Chinese Traditions and Dialogue
The Complexity of Difference: Comments on Zhang Longxi
Dialogue in Practice: Conversation with Members of a "Youth Forum"
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
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
Dallmayr recognizes the importance of integrating political institutions and political practice, bridging the gap between abstract theory and situated practice, and bringing to bear the cultural sources necessary for fashioning a kind of global communitarian liberalism that does not prejudge the specific content of community, freedom, equality, and democracy, but allows these to be defined in plural ways, without losing sight of the dynamic and intercultural nature of this process, as it unfolds in genuine dialogue.~David Ingram, Loyola University