The Philosophy of the Western

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Jennifer L. McMahon, B. Steve Csaki
University Press of Kentucky, May 28, 2010 - Political Science - 368 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
THE COWBOY WAY
11
DO NOT FORSAKE ME OH MY DARLING
13
CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS
31
MOMMAS DONT LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE PRAGMATISTS
55
TWO WAYS TO YUMA
69
LANDSCAPES OF GENDERED VIOLENCE
89
THE CODE OF THE WEST
111
BACK OFF TO WHAT?
203
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
221
THE NORTHWESTERN
241
ON THE FRINGE
259
SAVAGE NATIONS
261
REGENERATION THROUGH STORIES AND SONG
291
GO WEST YOUNG WOMAN
309
BEATING A LIVE HORSE
329

ORDER OUT OF THE MUD
113
ORDER WITHOUT LAW
139
FROM DOLLARS TO IRON
149
THE DUTY OF REASON
171
OUTL AWS
185
THE COST OF THE CODE
187
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
351
CONTRIBUTORS
355
INDEX
359
Back Cover
371
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Jennifer L. McMahon, associate professor and chair of the English and Languages Department at East Central University, is a contributor to The Philosophy of TV Noir, The Philosophy of Martin Scorsese, and The Simpsons and Philosophy. She lives in Stratford, Oklahoma. B. Steve Csaki was most recently a visiting professor at Centre College, where he taughtcourses in philosophy, the humanities, and Japanese. He lives in Stratford, Oklahoma.

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