Category Archives: Strauss, Leo (1899 – 1973 ce)

Political Philosophy and the Challenge of Revealed Religion (2017)

Political Philosophy and the Challenge of Revealed Religionby Heinrich Meier,
Robert Berman (Translator)

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“Heinrich Meier’s guiding insight in Political Philosophy and the Challenge of Revealed Religion is that philosophy must prove its right and its necessity in the face of the claim to truth and demand for obedience of its most powerful opponent, revealed religion. Philosophy must rationally justify and politically defend its free and unreserved questioning, and, in doing so, turns decisively to political philosophy.

In the first of three chapters, Meier determines four intertwined moments constituting the concept of political philosophy as an articulated and internally dynamic whole. The following two chapters develop the concept through the interpretation of two masterpieces of political philosophy that have occupied Meier’s attention for more than thirty years: Leo Strauss’s Thoughts on Machiavelli and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract. Meier provides a detailed investigation of Thoughts on Machiavelli, with an appendix containing Strauss’s original manuscript headings for each of his paragraphs. Linking the problem of Socrates (the origin of political philosophy) with the problem of Machiavelli (the beginning of modern political philosophy), while placing between them the political and theological claims opposed to philosophy, Strauss’s most complex and controversial book proves to be, as Meier shows, the most astonishing treatise on the challenge of revealed religion. The final chapter, which offers a new interpretation of the Social Contract, demonstrates that Rousseau’s most famous work can be adequately understood only as a coherent political-philosophic response to theocracy in all its forms.”

Philosophy, History, and Tyranny: Reexamining the Debate between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeve (2016)

Philosophy, History, and Tyranny: Reexamining the Debate between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeveeds. Timothy W. Burns and Bryan-Paul Frost

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“On Tyranny remains a perennial favorite, possessing a timelessness that few philosophical or scholarly debates have ever achieved. On one hand, On Tyranny is the first book-length work in Leo Strauss s extended study of Xenophon, and his Restatement retains a vivacity and directness that is sometimes absent in his later works. On the other, Tyranny and Wisdom is perhaps the most succinct yet fullest articulation of Alexandre Kojeve s overall political thought, and it presents what may be the most uncompromising alternative to Strauss s position as a whole. This volume contains for the first time a comprehensive and critical examination of the debate from scholars well versed in the thought of Strauss, Kojeve, Hegel, Heidegger, and the end of history thesis. Of particular interest will be the appendix, which offers for the first time Kojeve s unabridged response to Strauss.”

Principle and Prudence in Western Political Thought (2016)

Principle and Prudence in Western Political Thoughteds. Christopher Lynch and Jonathan Marks

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“Discussions of the place of moral principle in political practice are haunted by the abstract and misleading distinction between realism and its various principled or “idealist” alternatives. This volume argues that such discussions must be recast in terms of the relationship between principle and prudence: as Nathan Tarcov maintains, that relationship is “not dichotomous but complementary.” In a substantive introduction, the editors investigate Leo Strauss’s attack on contemporary political thought for its failure to account for both principle and prudence in politics. Leading commentators then reflect on principle and prudence in the writings of great thinkers such as Homer, Machiavelli, and Hegel, and in the thoughts and actions of great statesmen such as Pericles, Jefferson, and Lincoln. In a concluding section, contributors reassess Strauss’s own approach to principle and prudence in the history of political philosophy.”

Leo Strauss on the Borders of Judaism, Philosophy, and History (2015)

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image from ecx.images-amazon.comby Jeffrey A. Bernstein

State Univ of New York Press

224 pages

“In Leo Strauss on the Borders of Judaism, Philosophy, and History, Jeffrey A. Bernstein explores how the thought of Leo Strauss amounts to a model for thinking about the connection between philosophy, Jewish thought, and history. For Bernstein, Strauss shows that a close study of the history of philosophy—from the “ancients” to “medievals” to “moderns”—is necessary for one to appreciate the fundamental distinction between the forms of life Strauss terms “Jerusalem” and “Athens,” that is, order through revealed Law and free philosophical thought, respectively. Through an investigation of Strauss’s published texts; examination of his intellectual biography and history; and making use of correspondence, archival materials, and seminar transcripts, Bernstein shows how Strauss’s concern with the relation between Judaism and philosophy spanned his entire career. His findings will be of use to those interested in the thought of Strauss, the history of Jewish thought, and the relation between religion, philosophy, and politics.”

Reorientation: Leo Strauss in the 1930s (2013)

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Richard S. Ruderman is Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of North Texas, USA. He has published essays on 'Aristotle and the Recovery of Political Judgment,' 'Homer's Odyssey and the Possibility of Enlightenment,' "Democracy and the Problem of Statesmanship," 'Locke on the Parental Control of Education,' ''Let Freedom Ring': The Abolitionism of William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass,' and 'A Slingshot Recoils: The Critique of Philosophy in Halevi's Kuzari.' He received his PhD from the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought in 1990.

Martin D. Yaffe is Professor of Philosophy and Religion Studies at the University of North Texas, USA. He is author of Leo Strauss and Moses Mendelssohn and Shylock and the Jewish Question; editor of Judaism and Environmental Ethics: A Reader; translator of Benedict Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise; co-translator of Thomas Aquinas's Literal Exposition on the Book of Job; and co-editor of Emil L. Fackenheim: Philosopher, Theologian, Jew and The Companionship of Books: Essays in Honor of Laurence Berns.