Integral Pluralism: Beyond Culture Wars

by Fred Dallmayr

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248 pages  Pubdate: 12/31/2015  6 x 9  None

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In addition to war, terrorism, and unchecked military violence, modernity is also subject to less visible but no less venomous conflicts. Global in nature, these “culture wars” exacerbate the tensions between tradition and innovation, virtue and freedom. Internationally acclaimed scholar Fred Dallmayr charts a course beyond these persistent but curable dichotomies in Integral Pluralism: Beyond Culture Wars. Consulting diverse fields such as philosophy, literature, political science, and religious studies, Dallmayr equates modern history with a process of steady pluralization. This process, which Dallmayr calls “integral pluralism,” requires new connections and creates ethical responsibilities.

Dallmayr critically compares integral pluralism against the theories of Carl Schmitt, the Religious Right, international “realism,” and so-called political Islam. Drawing on the works of James, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Merleau-Ponty, Integral Pluralism offers sophisticated and carefully researched solutions for the conflicts of the modern world.

Fred Dallmayr, Emeritus Packey J. Dee Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame University, is the author or editor of numerous books, including In Search of the Good Life: A Pedagogy for Troubled Times.

Each chapter of the book can almost stand alone, as each presents the reader with a slice of understanding that illustrates the richness of the political anthropology Dallmayr wishes readers to embrace. -- Choice

No political philosopher has done more than Fred Dallmayr to bring different traditions and thinkers into an original and profitable conversation. In Integral Pluralism, Dallmayr shows us how the American pragmatist tradition, the European hermeneutic and phenomenological traditions, the considerations of religion both monotheistic and not, as well as the South Asian and East Asian traditions can cast light on each other, a light that in turn he reflects on our times. One is in Dallmayr’s debt, for no one else could have done it. -- Tracy B. Strong, coeditor of The Many and the One: Religious and Secular Perspectives on Ethical Pluralism in the Modern World

Fred Dallmayr sheds fresh light on familiar authors such as Gadamer, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty, while rightly insisting on bringing thinkers outside the usual (eurocentric) theoretical canon into the dialogue. Over the course of many decades, Dallmayr has almost single-handedly knocked down the provincial, cultural, and intellectual walls of what passes for “proper” political theory and social philosophy. Integral Pluralism again shows that only by doing so can the world deal successfully with the most difficult political and intellectual questions we all face. -- William E. Scheuerman, author of Hans J. Morgenthau: Realism and Beyond

Particularly for those struggling with the question of the proper role for religion in the public square, this book is an enormous contribution. Brilliant! -- Stephen F. Schneck, editor of Letting Be: Fred Dallmayr’s Cosmopolitical Vision

The key virtues of Integral Pluralism are the remarkable erudition of its author, the grace of the writing, the scope and sweep of its vision, and its synthetic weaving of the contributions of a broad spectrum of nineteenth- through twenty-first-century theorists and philosophers. -- Leslie Paul Thiele, author of Thinking Politics: Perspectives in Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern Political Theory

Dallmayr explores the commodious space in between by examining theorists whose works allows him to develop of webbed pluralism or diverse connectedness he favors, either by way of political analyses that draw importantly on theological concepts or religious concepts that carry crucial political and sociological implications. -- Social & Behavioral Science

Dallmayr's account of integral pluralism offers a path of understanding and engaging in the modern age of globalization, specialization, and fragmentation. -- Human Studies