This volume gathers essays by fourteen scholars written to honor Fred Dallmayr and the contributions of his political theory. Stephen F. Schneck's introduction to Dallmayr's thinking provides a survey of the development of his work. Dallmayr's "letting be," claims Schneck, is much akin to his reading of Martin Heidegger's "letting Being be," and should be construed neither as a conservative acceptance of self-identity nor as a nonengaged indifference to difference. Instead, he explains, endeavoring to privilege neither identity nor difference, the hermeneutic circle for Dallmayr must also be one of thoroughgoing critique and praxis. And, indeed, what joins together Dallmayr's many essays and explorations, what inheres within his "cosmopolitan" understanding of the contemporary world, and what lends his analyses their imperative, is this same "letting be." The diversity of contributors to this volume - including Michaelle Browers, John Francis Burke, Neve Gordon, David Ingram, Hwa Yol Jung, Thomas McCarthy, Chantal Mouffe, Morton Schoolman, Calvin O. Schrag, Tracy B. Strong, Ronald J. Terchek, Franke Wilmer, and Krzysztof Ziarek - illustrate the broad range of Dallmayr's own theory.
His thinking has engaged ideas of Jurgen Habermas and Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault and Charles Taylor, Jacques Derrida and Abdolkarim Soroush - not to mention those of phenomenology, language philosophy, critical theory, hermeneutics, deconstruction, and a rich collection of non-Western thinkers, both classical and contemporary. Indeed, in the last decade Dallmayr's works have expanded to develop the emerging field of comparative political thought, as his theoretical focus weaves across the old historical and geographical borders of thought, crossing North and South, East and West, ancient and modern. The scholars in this volume are among the first to address the full scope of Dallmayr's contributions to contemporary thought, from his theoretical assessment of Western modernity to his cosmopolitical vision.