Unknown to many, unintelligible to some, Richard McKeon (1900-1985) is considered by those familiar with his work to be among the most important of all twentieth-century philosophers. In a career that spanned seven decades, McKeon published eleven books and more than 150 articles, inspired and intimidated generations of students (among them Richard Rorty, Wayne Booth, and Paul Goodman), and received most of the honors available to an American philosopher. As a teacher and administrator at the University of Chicago, he was instrumental in founding its general education program and initiating the first interdisciplinary program in the humanities. His achievements outside the university included a major part in developing the first cultural and philosophical projects of UNESCO. Fearsome in the classroom, he is renowned for his scholarly brilliance; the problems he thought important, however, did not occupy his colleagues' attention. Ironically, they are now the very issues that present-day philosophers grapple with, namely pluralism, the relationship of philosophy to the history of philosophy, rhetoric and philosophy, the diversity of culture, and the problems of communication and community. Pluralism in Theory and Practice not only brings McKeon to the attention of contemporary philosophers and students; it also puts his theories into practice. Some of the essays explicate aspects of McKeon's thought or situate him in the context of American intellectual and practical engagement. Others take the concerns he raised as starting points for inquiries into urgent contemporary problems, or, in some cases, for reexamining McKeon's work as fertile ground for shaping the direction of new investigation.