By Strauss, Leo; Zuckert, Michael P.; Strauss, Leo; Zuckert, Catherine H
Is Leo Strauss really an highbrow forebear of neoconservatism and a strong strength in shaping Bush management international coverage? The fact approximately Leo Strauss places this query to leisure, revealing for the 1st time how the preferred media got here to perpetuate such an oversimplified view of this type of complicated and wide-ranging thinker. extra vital, it corrects our conception of Strauss, offering the easiest normal creation to be had to the political considered this misunderstood figure.
Catherine and Michael Zuckert—both former scholars of Strauss—guide readers the following to a nuanced knowing of the way Strauss’s political concept matches into his broader philosophy. not easy the guidelines that Strauss was once an rigid conservative who within the footsteps of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt, the Zuckerts contend that Strauss’s signature notion used to be the necessity for a go back to the ancients. this concept, they exhibit, stemmed from Strauss’s trust that sleek concept, with its relativism and nihilism, undermines fit politics or even the opportunity of genuine philosophy. choosing this view as one among Strauss’s 3 center propositions—America is smooth, modernity is undesirable, and the US is good—they finish that Strauss was once a sober defender of liberal democracy, conscious of either its strengths and its weaknesses.
The Zuckerts end, properly, via studying the numerous paintings of Strauss’s a number of scholars and fans, revealing the origins—rooted within the tensions inside his personal thought—oftheir break up into opposing camps. Balanced and obtainable, The fact approximately Leo Strauss is a must-read for an individual who desires to extra absolutely understand this enigmatic thinker and his much-disputed legacy.
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Extra info for The truth about Leo Strauss : political philosophy and American democracy
15 Merely showing, as Spinoza had done, that statements in the Bible were contradictory or anachronistic did not prove that they were not the word, or accurate depictions of the acts, of an omnipotent and unfathomable God. To show that miracles were impossible, modern rationalists had to give a systematic explanation of everything that had occurred or could occur. ”16 By the twentieth century modern rationalism in the combined form of natural science, progressive politics, and industrial technology had shown that it could not describe or remake the world in completely rational form.
The “deceit” in which some philosophers engaged thus consisted in not openly challenging views conducive the return to the ancients 45 to the preservation of social and political order. It did not consist in a “manipulation” of the masses to get them to think what philosophers wanted them to think or to enable the philosophers to rule. 40 Nor did the ancient and medieval philosophers who wrote “between the lines” seek to rule.
The question that divides Strauss from his critics concerns whether, and how, proscribed thoughts can be communicated. The fact that so many philosophers had been threatened with persecution suggested that their contemporaries suspected that these philosophers did not hold simply orthodox or acceptable opinions, Strauss pointed out. Until the nineteenth century and the emergence of a “scientiﬁc” study of history, many commentators had thought that Thomas Hobbes, for example, was an atheist. But nineteenth-century scholars of intellectual history decided that authors’ views must be determined solely on the basis of what they said, not what they implied, and that when they said different or contradictory things, what the authors said most frequently had to be taken as most indicative of what they actually thought.