Fred Dallmayr is Packey Dee Professor of Government at the University of Notre Dame.Contributors: Robert Alexy. Karl-Otto Apel. Seyla Benhabib. Dietrich Bohler. Jurgen Habermas. Otfried Hoffe. KarlHeinz Ilting. Hermann Lubbe.
Barely a decade after the end of the Cold War, the fury of violence has been unleashed around the world, taking the form of terrorism, wars against terrorism, and genocidal mayhem. These developments stand in contrast to more hopeful legacies of the twentieth century: creation of the United Nations and adoption of international documents such as the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights." These legacies have encouraged a series of initiatives aiming at the formulation of a global or cosmopolitan ethics guiding (...) the global community. The essay examines the promise and drawbacks of some of these initiatives. After reviewing proposals sponsored by Hans Küng and Martha Nussbaum, the essay turns to criticisms registering a perceived neglect of situated differences and motivational resources. To correct these deficits, the conclusion focuses on the political plane arguing that a viable global ethics needs to be anchored in, or supplemented by, a global political praxis. (shrink)
Still the German philosopher Martin (1889-1976), not Harvey down at the bakery. Dallmayr (political theory, U. of Notre Dame) explores his alternative political ideas, at odds both with traditional metaphysics and with the prevailing ideologies of our time, without getting tangled up in the usual controversy of his adherence to Nazism after 1933. He identifies Heidegger's his views on democracy, public ethics and justice, and political agency and community, and suggests how they might contribute to modern thought. Annotation copyright by (...) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR. (shrink)
Globalization is often seen as a process of universal standardization under the auspices of market economics, technology, and hegemonic power. Resisting this process without endorsing parochial self-enclosure, Fred Dallmayr explores alternative visions that are rooted in distinct vernacular traditions and facilitate cross-cultural learning in an open-ended global arena.
Inter-cultural dialog is frequently treated as either unnecessary or else impossible. It is said to be unnecessary, because we all are the same or share the same ‘human nature'; it is claimed to be impossible because cultures seen as language games or forms or life are so different as to be radically incommensurable. The paper steers a course between absolute universalism and particularism by following the path of dialog and interrogation - where dialog does not mean empty chatter but the (...) exploration of the ‘otherness’ of interlocutors on the far side of either assimilation or exclusion. Such dialog is the heart of hermeneutics as formulated by Hans-Georg Gadamer. The paper explores the question whether hermeneutical interpretation can be transferred from textual readings to the domain of cross-cultural encounters. After discussing both the historical development and the basic meaning of contemporary hermeneutics, the paper draws attention to the intimate linkage between interpretive understanding and ‘application’, or ‘practical philosophy.’ Drawing on the insights of Gadamer and some more overtly political thinkers, the paper then shows the relevance of hermeneutics for cross-cultural studies, as an antidote to the looming ‘clash of civilizations.’ It turns to some writings by Maurice Merleau-Ponty in order to emphasize the necessary linkage between interactive dialog and concrete embodied engagement. Undercutting purely mentalist or ‘idealist’ misconstruals of dialog, this linkage shows the mutual compatibility between Gadamerian hermeneutics and existential phenomenology. Keywords: hermeneutics; dialogue; praxis; cross-cultural understanding; Gadamer; Merleau-Ponty (Published: 10 March 2009) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v2i1.1937. (shrink)
Comparative political theory is at best an embryonic and marginalized endeavor. As practiced in most Western universities, the study of political theory generally involves a rehearsal of the canon of Western political thought from Plato to Marx. Only rarely are practitioners of political thought willing (and professionally encouraged) to transgress the canon and thereby the cultural boundaries of North America and Europe in the direction of genuine comparative investigation. Border Crossings presents an effort to remedy this situation, fully launching a (...) new era in political theory. Thirteen scholars from around the world examine the various political traditions of West, South, and East Asia and engage in a reflective cross-cultural discussion that belies the assumptions of an Asian "essence" and of an unbridgeable gulf between West and non-West. The denial of essential differences does not, however, amount to an endorsement of essential sameness. As viewed and as practiced by contributors to this ground-breaking volume, comparative political theorizing must steer a course between uniformity and radical separation--this is the path of "border crossings.". (shrink)
Barely a decade after the end of the Cold War, the fury of violence has been unleashed around the world, taking the form of terrorism, wars against terrorism, and genocidal mayhem. These developments stand in contrast to more hopeful legacies of the twentieth century: creation of the United Nations and adoption of international documents such as the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” These legacies have encouraged a series of initiatives aiming at the formulation of a global or cosmopolitan ethics guiding (...) the global community. The essay examines the promise and drawbacks of some of these initiatives. After reviewing proposals sponsored by Hans Küng and Martha Nussbaum, the essay turns to criticisms registering a perceived neglect of situated differences and motivational resources. To correct these deficits, the conclusion focuses on the political plane arguing that a viable global ethics needs to be anchored in, or supplemented by, a global political praxis. (shrink)
The life story of a German-American scholar deeply involved, over several decades, in evolving intellectual trends and movements and profoundly affected by successive geopolitical events and calamities.
Western Political Thought in Dialogue with Asia is a unique collection of essays that examines the exchange of political ideas between Western Europe and Asia from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century. The contributors to the volume call for globalizing the scope of research and teaching in the history of political thought.
This book is a textbook designed for teaching a new subfield in political science: the emerging field of "comparative political theory". It is the first such textbook. As taught in American universities, political theory has been traditionally confined to the history of Western political thought from Plato and Aristotle to Hegel and Nietzsche. The editor believes strongly that this limitation is no longer tenable in our globalizing age when different cultures and civilizations are increasingly communicating and interacting with each other. (...) The text focuses on three areas: Islamic civilization, Indian civilization, and Far Eastern civilizations. In each area the text offers an introduction followed by readings dealing with ancient or classical teachings as well as modern and contemporary theoretical developments. In making these selections, the editor has been ably assisted by experts in the respective fields (Roxanne Euben, Anthony Parel, and Theodore deBary). The text is meant mainly for undergraduate classes but can be consulted with benefit also by more advanced students as well as by the general reading public. (shrink)
In his Complaint of Peace, the great sixteenth-century humanist Erasmus allows "Peace" to talk. Peace speaks as a plaintiff, protesting her shabby treatment at the hands of humankind and our ever-ready inclination to launch wars. Against this lure of warfare, Erasmus pits the higher task of peace-building, which can only succeed through the cultivation of justice and respect for all human life. First articulated in 1517, the complaint of peace has echoed through subsequent centuries and down to our age--an age (...) convulsed by world wars, holocausts, and ethnic cleansings. Distinguished political scientist Fred Dallmayr traces this complaint from the writings of Erasmus through the evolution of the "law of nations" to recent and contemporary co-plaintiffs in the West. He also highlights the role of non-Western thinkers and teachings in giving voice to "Peace." In addition to Erasmus, Dallmayr engages major thinkers such as Francisco de Vitoria, Hugo Grotius, Immanuel Kant, Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Mahatma Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, John Rawls, and Martha Nussbaum. This timely book urgently pleads for greater attentiveness to peace's complaint as an antidote to the prevailing culture of violence and the escalating danger of nuclear catastrophe. Dallmayr offers not only a compelling historical narrative, but powerful ethical and religious arguments vindicating the primacy of peace over violence and war. (shrink)
In an age marked by global hegemony and festering civilization clashes, Fred Dallmayr's Achieving Our World charts a path toward a cosmopolitan democracy respectful of local differences. Dallmayr draws upon and develops insights from a number of fields: political theory, the study of international politics, recent Continental philosophy, and an array of critical cultural disciplines to illustrate and elucidate his thesis. In Achieving Our World, Dallmayr contends that a genuinely global and plural democracy and 'civic culture' is the only viable (...) and promising path for humankind in the new millennium. (shrink)
In an age marked by profound rifts and tensions on both political and philosophical levels, a fundamental debate affecting virtually the whole of Western intellectual culture is currently taking place. In one camp are those who would defend traditional metaphysics and its ties to the rise of modernity; in the other camp, those who reject the possibility of foundational thought and argue for the emergence of a postmodern order. Can we still defend the notion of critical reason? How should we (...) grasp the significance of the embeddedness of language and thought in specific historical contexts? Can we rationally defend the possibility of human freedom? In this book, Fred Dallmayr goes beyond conventional discussion of these issues by tracing them back to their origins. Drawing on his unrivaled knowledge of Continental philosophy, he explores the underlying connections between the phenomenologists of the Freiburg School and the critical theorists of the Frankfurt School, thus steering a course toward a "critical ontology" that bridges reason and the world. This book will be essential reading for sociologists, philosophers, and political theorists. (shrink)
The touchstone of these seven original essays is the relationship between polis and praxis - the public-political space and the political action that maintains and is conditioned by that space. The argument flows from Martin Heidegger's lament in his Letter on Humanism that modern philosophers have failed to understand that the essence of "action" is "accomplishment." Dallmayr's lucid essays are a step toward achieving that understanding.Dallmayr assesses and puts into perspective the work of many of the seminal thinkers of the (...) 20th century - Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jürgen Habermas, Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, Michael Oakeshott - as he takes up such topics as the plausibility of friendship as a model for political relations, the relationship between political praxis and "experience," Heidegger's ontology of freedom, Foucault's treatment of power, and the merits and disadvantages of Habermasian critical theory. The result is a stimulating and original contribution to current political discourse that explores and advocates the manifold possible levels of active political life below and above the level of the State.Fred Dallmayr has established a reputation as a theorist and critic who is equally well attuned to European and American currents of philosophical and political thought. Like Hannah Arendt, he sees the essay as an ideal form for exercises in theorizing en route while venturing beyond traditional categories and philosophical benchmarks. His aim in this book is not a close-knit propositional framework but a set of tentative and partially continuous explorations that are provocative and inviting, like the movements of a musical suite.Fred R. Dallmayr is Packey Dee Professor of Government, University of Notre Dame. (shrink)
Are human rights universal, and, if so, in what sense? Starting with the opposition between "foundational" universalism (as articulated in modern natural law and rationalist liberalism) and "antifoundational" skepsis or relativism (from Jeremy Bentham to Richard Rorty) and steering a path beyond this dichotomy, an inquiry is made into the "rightness" of rights-claims, a question that calls for situated, prudential judgment. With specific reference to "Asian values," Henry Rosemont's emphasis is followed on the need to differentiate between "concept clusters" and (...) reflecting different modes of human flourishing--clusters that are neither radically incommensurable nor blandly uniform and exchangeable. What this emphasis suggests is that the globalism or universalism of human rights is not a pre-given premise but rather a challenge and practical task--requiring intensive inter-human and cross-cultural learning and (what Tu Wei-ming calls) the ongoing "humanization" of humankind. (shrink)
The essay seeks to disentangle the meaning or meanings of the catch word ‘‘cosmopolitanism’’. To contribute to its clarification, the essay distinguishes between three main interpretations: empirical, normative, and practical or interactive. In the first reading, the term coincides basically with ‘‘globalization’’ where the latter refers to such economic and technical processes as the global extension of financial and communications networks. A different meaning is given to the term by normative thinkers like Kant, Rawls, and Habermas. In this reading, cosmopolitanism (...) refers to a set of moral and/or legal norms or principles governing international politics, regardless of whether these principles are derived from ‘‘noumenal’’ consciousness, an ‘‘original position’’ or rational discourse. Noting the is/ought dilemma troubling normativism, the essay introduces the further meaning of practical interaction. Indebted to the teachings of pragmatism, hermeneutics, and virtue ethics, this reading mitigates the split between norm and conduct through practical engagement and education.Keywords: globalization; liquidity; banal cosmopolitansim; normativism; pragmatism; hermeneutics. (shrink)
This volume shows how Gandhi's thought and action-oriented approach are significant, relevant, and urgently needed for addressing major contemporary problems and concerns, including issues of violence and nonviolence, war and peace, religious conflict and dialogue, terrorism, ethics, civil disobedience, injustice, modernism and postmodernism, oppression and exploitation, and environmental destruction. Appropriate for general readers and Gandhi specialists, this volume will be of interest for those in philosophy, religion, political science, history, cultural studies, peace studies, and many other fields.
Dallmayr argues that G W F Hegel is perhaps the leading philosopher of modernity and explores his philosophy as it pertains to the meaning of modernity and postmodernity: its celebration of individual freedom and the importance of a network of social relationships, public justice and civic virtue. This important text explains Hegel's work in the context of current theoretical and philosophical debates about modernity, illustrating his response to contemporary issues and recognizing him as a major figure in the history of (...) political thought. (shrink)
In a paradoxical manner, Heidegger's work is deeply tainted by his complicity with totalitarian (fascist) oppression, despite the fact that his philosophy, in its basic tenor, was always dedicated to freedom and resistance to totalizing uniformity. While acknowledging his early fascination with power struggles, the essay tries to show how, as a corollary of his turning (Kehre), Heidegger steadily sought to extricate himself from the tentacles of oppressive power (Macht) and manipulative domination (Machenschaft). The focus here is on recently published (...) treatises of the 1930's. The conclusion inserts Heidegger's thought into the contemporary arena of global standardization. (shrink)
Small wonder: finitude and its horizons -- The underside of modernity: Adorno, Heidegger, and Dussel -- Empire or cosmopolis: civilization at the crossroads -- Confronting empire: a tribute to Arundhati Roy -- Speaking truth to power: in memory of Edward Said -- Critical intellectuals in a global age: toward a global public sphere -- Social identity and creative praxis: hommage á Merleau-Ponty -- Nature and artifact: Gadamer on human health -- Borders or horizons?: an older debate revisited -- Empire and (...) faith: sacred non-sovereignty -- Appendix: A. The dignity of difference: a salute to Jonathan Sacks -- B. Religion and rationality: Habermas and the early Frankfurt school -- Nomolatry and fidelity: a response to Charles Taylor. (shrink)
This book is a protest against some geopolitical agendas that are pushing the world toward a major global war and possibly toward a nuclear apocalypse. As an antidote, Fred Dallmayr issues a call to people everywhere to oppose this rush to destruction and to restore the "wholeness of humanity" through the quest for just peace.
Western modernity is frequently praised as a process of emancipation liberating individuals from external tutelage. While in the early phases of modernity, individual autonomy was still socially nurtured and embedded, subsequent developments put the premium steadily on negative liberty, thus pushing individuals into private self-enclosure. Autonomy thus became divorced from social and political agency. In psychoanalysis such divorce is called autism or narcissism. The article first examines Zygmunt Bauman’s discussion of the pathology in his The Individualized Society. Next to show (...) the progressive globalization of the malaise, the article turns to an analysis of contemporary Indian society by Ashis Nandy. Finally, the article considers a possible remedy for the pathology: the restoration of a ‘public realm’ as recommended by Hannah Arendt. (shrink)
During the last few years two major volumes have been published, both greatly revised versions of earlier Gifford Lectures: Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age ( 2007 ) and Raimon Panikkar’s The Rhythm of Being ( 2010 ). The two volumes are similar in some respects and very dissimilar in others. Both thinkers complain about the glaring blemishes of the modern, especially the contemporary age; both deplore above all a certain deficit of religiosity. The two authors differ, however, both in the (...) details of their diagnosis and in their proposed remedies. Taylor views the modern age—styled as “secular age”—as marked by a slide into secular agnosticism, into “exclusive humanism”, and above all into an “immanent frame” excluding theistic “transcendence”. Although sharing the concern about “loss of meaning”, Panikkar does not find its source in the abandonment of (mono)theistic transcendence; on the contrary, both radical transcendence and agnostic immanence are responsible for the deficit of genuine faith. For him, recovery of faith requires an acknowledgment of our being in the world, as part of the “rhythm of being” happening in a holistic or “cosmotheandric” mode. In classical Indian terminology, while Taylor’s emphasis on the transcendence-immanence tension reflects ultimately a dualistic perspective (dvaita), Panikkar’s holistic notion of the rhythm of being captures the core of Advaita Vendanta. (shrink)
The process of globalisation and the so-called war on terror are two prominent features marking our present age. While the process of globalisation promises the prospect of moving beyond or across borders, the war on terror marks a return to fences, check-points, and dividing walls. Terror war is a global politics of fear, a politics conducted under the rigid border control between ‘us’ and ‘them’. This paper examines the ominous development of fear in world politics from a number of angles. (...) First, it explores the growing linkage of politics with terror war by tracing its roots ultimately to the friend-enemy distinction. Next, it discusses the shortcomings of the terror war syndrome, by turning to some prominent critics of this ideology. Finally, it examines possible ways pointing beyond this ideology, enlisting for this purpose a number of theologians and intellectuals, to arrive at the promising notions of ‘border-crossing’ and political-existential Grenzgänger or people who criss-cross multiple borders. (shrink)