New PDF release: Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy

By Catherine Zuckert, Michael Zuckert

Leo Strauss and his alleged political effect in regards to the Iraq struggle have in recent times been the topic of vital media cognizance, together with tales within the Wall highway magazine and long island instances. Time journal even known as him “one of the main influential males in American politics.” With the reality approximately Leo Strauss, Michael and Catherine Zuckert challenged the numerous claims and speculations approximately this notoriously complicated philosopher.

Now, with Leo Strauss and the matter of Political Philosophy, they flip their awareness to a looking out and extra accomplished interpretation of Strauss’s proposal as a complete, utilizing the numerous manifestations of the “problem of political philosophy” as their touchstone.

For Strauss, political philosophy awarded a “problem” to which there were various options proposed over the process Western historical past. Strauss’s paintings, they exhibit, revolved round recovering—and restoring—political philosophy to its unique Socratic shape. in view that positivism and historicism represented highbrow currents that undermined the potential for a Socratic political philosophy, the 1st a part of the publication is dedicated to Strauss’s critique of those positions. Then, the authors discover Strauss’s interpretation of the historical past of philosophy and either historical and glossy canonical political philosophers, together with Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Locke. Strauss’s often-unconventional readings of those philosophers, they argue, pointed to suggestions to the matter of political philosophy. eventually, the authors research Strauss’s suggestion within the context of the 20 th century, while his leader interlocutors have been Schmitt, Husserl, Heidegger, and Nietzsche.

The so much penetrating and capacious therapy of the political philosophy of this advanced and infrequently misunderstood philosopher, from his early years to his final works, Leo Strauss and the matter of Political Philosophy unearths Strauss’s writings as an try and express that the targeted features of historical and glossy suggestion derive from varied modes of fixing the matter of political philosophy and show why he thought of the traditional resolution either philosophically and politically improved.

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Additional resources for Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy

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13 Only in the nineteenth century did the modern state become able to claim that it was superior to the Greek city on these very grounds. ” In other words, he is not claiming that classical political philosophy is simply true or simply superior to modern political philosophy. Indeed, he acknowledges that “there are definite reasons for considering that reinterpretation intrinsically superior to the original version” (66). ” Some philosophers have questioned the validity of these standards, moreover.

Most significantly, Nagel was an unwitting witness for Strauss’s claim that positivism collapses into historicism. By characterizing the principle of causality, upon which all modern science rests, as “only a contingent historical fact . . 24 Strauss thought that historicism constitutes a more serious challenge than positivism to the possibility of political philosophy, because historicism begins by recognizing that human existence is not like all other existence. Contrary to certain popular forms of “cultural relativism,” historicism does not rest merely on the observation that human beings disagree about the answers to the most fundamental questions.

As we show in chapter 2, Strauss thus devoted a great deal of thought to responding to the challenge posed by historicism and the understanding of the history of philosophy on which it was based. chapter t w o The Problem of Historicism ​and the Fusion of Philosophy and History H istoricism was the threat to political philosophy that Strauss took most seriously; he wrote about it both more often and more extensively than he wrote about positivism. He defined historicism as the replacement of philosophic questions with historical questions; and he labored to rescue philosophy from what he called historicism, but what we, in the years after Strauss’s death, might call postmodernism.

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Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy by Catherine Zuckert, Michael Zuckert


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