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Paperback | $25.00 Short | £17.95 | ISBN: 9780262540483 | 216 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 1987

Polis and Praxis

Exercises in Contemporary Political Theory


This provocative collection of essays seeks to clarify and redefine mainstream political and social concepts whose meaning is problematic. Their touchstone is the relation between polis and praxis—the public-political space and the political action that maintains and is conditioned by that space. 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.

In an open philosophical inquiry, the author conducts a dialogue with many of this century's seminal thinkers as he takes up such topics as the plausibility of friendship as a model for political relations, the relation between political praxis and "experience," Heidegger's ontology of freedom, Foucault's treatment of power, and the merits and disadvantages of Habermasian critical theory.

About the Author

Fred Dallmayr is Packey Dee Professor of Government at the University of Notre Dame.


"Polis and Praxis is evocative, erudite, and philosophically rich. Its message will be pondered seriously by persons of good will who are ready to engage, with 'rebellious gentleness,' in the necessary work of rethinking our political lexicon."
- William T. Bluhm, American Political Science Review