Being in the World
Dialogue and Cosmopolis
Publication Year: 2013
It is commonly agreed that we live in an age of globalization, but the profound consequences of this development are rarely understood. Usually, globalization is equated with the expansion of economic and financial markets and the proliferation of global networks of communication. In truth, much more is at stake: Traditional concepts of individual and national identity as well as perceived relationships between the self and others are undergoing profound change. Every town has become a potential cosmopolis -- an international city -- affecting the way that people conceptualize the relationship between public order and political practice. In Being in the World, noted political theorist Fred Dallmayr explores the globe's transition from the traditional Westphalian system of states to today's interlocking cosmopolitan network. Drawing upon sacred scriptures as well as the work of ancient philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle and more recent scholars such as Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Raimon Panikkar, this book delves into what Dallmayr calls "being in the world," seen as an aspect of ethical-political engagement. Rather than lamenting current problems, he suggests addressing them through civic education and cosmopolitan citizenship. Dallmayr advocates a politics of the common good, which requires the cultivation of public ethics, open dialogue, and civic responsibility.
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes
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A picture, the saying goes, is worth more than a thousand words or verbal explanations. In the following, I want to present a picture and then ask: What is wrong with the picture? Imagine a country in which most of the people are said to be religious or God-fearing. Many or most of the people carry God’s name on their lips incessantly or at ...
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By now it is a commonplace—a widely accepted commonplace—to say that we live in an age of globalization, that the world is steadily shrinking, and that people around the globe are increasingly pushed together. The saying has a ring of correctness or plausibility. What is correct is that financial markets are relentlessly expanding, that com-...
1. Being in the World
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Our age of globalization conjures up a host of challenging problems, mostly of a cultural, economic, and political nature. A steadily expand-ing literature deals with these problems. What is not often noticed is that globalization also harbors terminological and semantic quanda-ries. We know at least since Copernicus and Galileo that our Earth is ...
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The legacy of Western “modernity” is ambivalent. On the one hand, it has bequeathed to us the inspiring ideas of global brotherhood and universal justice. On the other hand, in the aftermath of the Peace of Westphalia, it has launched the agenda of a compact, exclusivist nationalism or nation-state, an agenda often copied or supplemented ...
3. After Babel
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In the earliest times, after the great flood, the Bible tells us (Gen-esis 11:1–9), “the whole earth had one language and few words.” The people took hold of a stretch of land in order to settle there and gain means of subsistence. They soon developed skills as artisans and craftsmen and even ventured into the fields of construction and en-...
4. Humanizing Humanity
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This is indeed a momentous gathering: the first “World Humanities Forum,” the first international meeting designed to underscore the importance of the humanities in our world.1 And significantly, the gathering is called and organized by UNESCO, that institutional branch of the world community whose assigned task is the promotion ...
5. Ethics and International Politics
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It is a privilege and a pleasure to respond to my colleagues and friends.1 It is a privilege because my colleagues are distinguished practitioners in their respective disciplines. It is a pleasure because reading their papers has broadened my horizons and responding to them enhances my critical self-understanding. My colleagues pose to me different ...
6. Befriending the Stranger
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Cosmopolitanism has a difficult relation with borders or boundaries. It cannot completely discard borders or bounded limits—without turning into an extraterrestrial enterprise or a mere flight of fan-cy. But it can also not blithely accept them, preferring instead to treat them as moving horizons. This dilemma is endemic to human ...
7. The Body Politic
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Looking at contemporary humanity, one can hardly avoid the impres-sion of a huge body or organism ravaged by multiple diseases and even catastrophes.1 Even without detailed diagnosis, it is not hard to trace these ailments to a set of underlying factors or causes: political op-pression or domination; radical inequality between rich and poor; xe-...
8. A Secular Age?
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At least in the Western context, our age is commonly referred to as that of “modernity”—a term sometimes qualified as “late modernity” or “post-modernity.” Taken by itself, the term is nondescript; in its literal sense, it simply means a time of novelty or innovation. Hence, something needs to be added to capture the kind of novelty involved. ...
9. Post-Secularity and (Global) Politics
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In recent intellectual discussions, the term post-secularity has ac-terms (post-modernism, post-metaphysics), the word exudes a cer-tain irenic quality, in the sense that the harsh features of traditional conflicts—between faith and reason, religion and agnosticism—are presumably mitigated if not laid to rest. Unfortunately, this hope ...
10. Political Self-Rule
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For students and friends of Gandhi, 2009 was an important year.1 As we know, it was a hundred years ago, on a long sea voyage, that Rule—a text justly famous because it has stood the test of time. The book was Gandhi’s opening salvo in his attack on colonialism and im-perialism and his first public plea for Indian independence, freedom ...
11. Radical Changes in the Muslim World
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History defies linearity. In a time when, at least in the Western world, major issues appeared to be settled and some even predicted the “end of history,” drama has suddenly erupted elsewhere—and especially in the Muslim world. A political arena that in many respects seemed relatively stagnant has unexpectedly been gripped by radical turmoil ...
12. Opening the Doors of Interpretation
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Interpretation is sometimes greatly underrated or undervalued; fre-quently it is seen as a mere method or subordinate tool of research. This view is seriously mistaken—as I shall try to show here mainly with regard to religious faith. As we know, the so-called Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—are based in large mea-...
Appendix A: Beyond Multiculturalism?
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Appendix B: Cosmopolitan Confucianism?
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Appendix C: The Complexity of Difference
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Appendix D: Dialogue in Practice
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Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013