The Truth about Leo Strauss

Political Philosophy and American Democracy

Author: Catherine H. Zuckert,Michael P. Zuckert

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226993337

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 306

View: 2956

Is Leo Strauss truly an intellectual forebear of neoconservatism and a powerful force in shaping Bush administration foreign policy? The Truth about Leo Strauss puts this question to rest, revealing for the first time how the popular media came to perpetuate such an oversimplified view of such a complex and wide-ranging philosopher. More important, it corrects our perception of Strauss, providing the best general introduction available to the political thought of this misunderstood figure. Catherine and Michael Zuckert—both former students of Strauss—guide readers here to a nuanced understanding of how Strauss’s political thought fits into his broader philosophy. Challenging the ideas that Strauss was an inflexible conservative who followed in the footsteps of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt, the Zuckerts contend that Strauss’s signature idea was the need for a return to the ancients. This idea, they show, stemmed from Strauss’s belief that modern thought, with its relativism and nihilism, undermines healthy politics and even the possibility of real philosophy. Identifying this view as one of Strauss’s three core propositions—America is modern, modernity is bad, and America is good—they conclude that Strauss was a sober defender of liberal democracy, aware of both its strengths and its weaknesses. The Zuckerts finish, appropriately, by examining the varied work of Strauss’s numerous students and followers, revealing the origins—rooted in the tensions within his own thought—oftheir split into opposing camps. Balanced and accessible, The Truth about Leo Strauss is a must-read for anyone who wants to more fully comprehend this enigmatic philosopher and his much-disputed legacy.

The Truth about Leo Strauss

Political Philosophy and American Democracy (Large Print 16pt)

Author: Michael Zuckert,Catherine

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant

ISBN: 9781459658431

Category: Political Science

Page: 676

View: 1891

Is Leo Strauss truly an intellectual forebear of neoconservatism and a powerful force in shaping Bush administration foreign policy? "The Truth about Leo Strauss" puts this question to rest, revealing for the first time how the popular media came to perpetuate such an oversimplified view of such a complex and wide - ranging philosopher. More important, it corrects our perception of Strauss, providing the best general introduction available to the political thought of this misunderstood figure. Catherine and Michael Zuckert - both former students of Strauss - guide readers here to a nuanced understanding of how Strauss's political thought fits into his broader philosophy. Challenging the ideas that Strauss was an inflexible conservative who followed in the footsteps of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt, the Zuckerts contend that Strauss's signature idea was the need for a return to the ancients. This idea, they show, stemmed from Strauss's belief that modern thought, with its relativism and nihilism, undermines healthy politics and even the possibility of real philosophy. Identifying this view as one of Strauss's three core propositions - America is modern, modernity is bad, and America is good - they conclude that Strauss was a sober defender of liberal democracy, aware of both its strengths and its weaknesses. The Zuckerts finish, appropriately, by examining the varied work of Strauss's numerous students and followers, revealing the origins - rooted in the tensions within his own thought - oftheir split into opposing camps. Balanced and accessible, "The Truth about Leo Strauss" is a must - read for anyone who wants to more fully comprehend this enigmatic philosopher and his much - disputed legacy.

Leo Strauss

Political Philosopher and Jewish Thinker

Author: Kenneth L. Deutsch,Walter Nicgorski

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780847678389

Category: Philosophy

Page: 396

View: 1506

In this book, 19 prominent representatives of each side in the basic division among Strauss's followers explore his contribution to political philosophy and Jewish thought. The volume presents the most extensive analysis yet published of Strauss's religious heritage and how it related to his work, and includes Strauss's previously unpublished 'Why We Remain Jews, ' an extraordinary essay concerned with the challenge posed to Judaism by modern secular thought. The extensive introduction interrelates the major themes of Strauss's thought

Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America

Author: Paul E. Gottfried

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139505483

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 3537

This book offers an original interpretation of the achievement of Leo Strauss, stressing how his ideas and followers reshaped the American conservative movement. The conservative movement that reached out to Strauss and his legacy was extremely fluid and lacked a self-confident leadership. Conservative activists and journalists felt a desperate need for academic acceptability, which they thought Strauss and his disciples would furnish. They also became deeply concerned with the problem of 'value relativism', which self-described conservatives thought Strauss had effectively addressed. But until recently, neither Strauss nor his disciples have considered themselves to be 'conservatives'. Contrary to another misconception, Straussians have never wished to convert Americans to ancient political ideals and practices, except in a very selective rhetorical fashion. Strauss and his disciples have been avid champions of American modernity, and 'timeless' values as interpreted by Strauss and his followers often look starkly contemporary.

The Cambridge Companion to Leo Strauss

Author: Steven B. Smith

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139828253

Category: Religion

Page: 307

View: 7044

Leo Strauss was a central figure in the twentieth century renaissance of political philosophy. The essays of The Cambridge Companion to Leo Strauss provide a comprehensive and non-partisan survey of the major themes and problems that constituted Strauss's work. These include his revival of the great 'quarrel between the ancients and the moderns,' his examination of tension between Jerusalem and Athens, and most controversially his recovery of the tradition of esoteric writing. The volume also examines Strauss's complex relation to a range of contemporary political movements and thinkers, including Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Gershom Scholem, as well as the creation of a distinctive school of 'Straussian' political philosophy.

Leo Strauss, the Straussians, and the American Regime

Author: Kenneth L. Deutsch,John Albert Murley

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780847686926

Category: Philosophy

Page: 451

View: 2899

Responding to volatile criticisms frequently leveled at Leo Strauss and those he influenced, the prominent contributors to this volume demonstrate the profound influence that Strauss and his students have exerted on American liberal democracy and contemporary political thought. By stressing the enduring vitality of classic books and by articulating the theoretical and practical flaws of relativism and historicism, the contributors argue that Strauss and the Straussians have identified fundamental crises of modernity and liberal democracy. This book emphasizes the broad range of Strauss's influence, from literary criticism to constitutional thought, and it denies the existence of a monolithic Straussian political orthodoxy. Both critics and supporters of Strauss' thought are included. All political theorists interested in Strauss's extraordinary impact on political thought will want to read this book.

Democratic Vanguardism

Modernity, Intervention, and the Making of the Bush Doctrine

Author: Michael Harland

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 0739179705

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 1899

Democratic Vanguardism explores the origins, development, and implication of the United States’ policy after 9/11 to promote democracy by force and thereby advance its national security. It explores disputes among political theorists, elected statesmen, and public intellectuals to help enrich our understanding of this most fraught period in American foreign relations, and it provides a novel account on the discourse of historical teleology that underpinned the Bush Doctrine.

Weimar in Amerika

Author: Stephan Steiner

Publisher: Mohr Siebeck

ISBN: 9783161526749

Category: Philosophy

Page: 306

View: 8060

English summary: Stephan Steiner presents a historical-biographical study of Leo Strauss, in which he brings the contexts and genesis of Strauss' political philosophy to light. In order to do this, it is crucial to look at the transformation of Strauss' philosophical position in the USA while also placing it in perspective against the background of the conditions during the Weimar Republic. Taking Strauss' position on the sociology of knowledge, on historicism and on dialectical theology into account, Steiner shows how Strauss brought a specifically German criticism of modernism to America, which he developed during his first years in New York. In order to explore this in more detail, Strauss's understanding of revelation, his criticism of historicism and the philosophical-historical preconditions of his image of Antiquity have been reconstructed. Instead of presenting one-dimensional philosophical narratives and autobiographical self-staging, this makes accessible the history of experience in Strauss' thinking. German description: Stephan Steiner prasentiert eine historisch-biographische Studie zu Leo Strauss, in der er die Kontexte und Genese seiner Politischen Philosophie sichtbar macht. Neben der Verortung in den Konstellationen der Weimarer Republik ist dafur der Blick auf die Transformation von Strauss' philosophischer Position in den USA entscheidend. An dessen Verhaltnis zu Wissenssoziologie, Historismus und dialektischer Theologie zeigt Steiner, wie Strauss eine spezifisch deutsche Kritik der Moderne nach Amerika brachte, die er wahrend der ersten Jahre in New York ausarbeitete. Um dies im Detail zu verfolgen, werden Strauss' Offenbarungsverstandnis, seine Historismuskritik sowie die philosophiehistorischen Voraussetzungen seines Antikebildes rekonstruiert. Anstelle philosophischer Einheitserzahlungen und autobiographischer Selbstinszenierungen wird darin die Erfahrungsgeschichte von Strauss' Denken lesbar gemacht.

Die Reformation der Rechte

Recht, Religion und Menschenrechte im frühen Calvinismus

Author: John Witte Jr.

Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

ISBN: 3788728345

Category: Religion

Page: 422

View: 6302

Johannes Calvin entwickelte ein neues Verständnis von Rechten und Freiheiten, von Kirche und Staat, das das Rechtssystem der frühen protestantischen Staaten formte. Seine Lehren, die sich schnell in Westeuropa ausbreiteten, wurden immer wieder durch große Krisen herausgefordert: die französischen Religionskriege, die niederländische Revolte, die englische Revolution, die amerikanische Kolonisation und Revolution. In solchen Krisen waren es Anhänger Calvins, die sein Denken aktualisierten und der neuen Situation anpassten. Eine Reihe grundlegender westlicher Auffassungen von Religion und politischen Rechten, sozialem und konfessionellem Pluralismus, Föderalismus und Gesellschaftsvertrag haben im frühmodernen Calvinismus ihren Ursprung.

Cloaked in Virtue

Unveiling Leo Strauss and the Rhetoric of American Foreign Policy

Author: Nicholas Xenos

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135929270

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 3517

It is now commonly acknowledged that numerous key players in and around the Bush administration’s planning of the Iraq invasion were connected through a common background in the political philosophy of Leo Strauss, a German-born University of Chicago professor who died in 1973. These Straussian "neocons" were held responsible for exploiting the September 11th attacks in order to further their own foreign policy agenda. Cloaked in Virtue is the first book to take a critical view of the political ideas of Leo Strauss himself by careful attention to his own writings before and after his emigration to the United States. The result is a critical examination of the political theory of Leo Strauss, lifting the veil of intentional obfuscation, and its influence on the neoconservative foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of politics and international relations.

Crisis of the Strauss Divided

Essays on Leo Strauss and Straussianism, East and West

Author: Harry V. Jaffa

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN: 1442217138

Category: Political Science

Page: 290

View: 6031

Harry V. Jaffa, one of Strauss’s most influential students and an ardent participant in the internal divisions among Straussians, brings together his key contributions to the battle to define Strauss’s legacy. The collection includes an important original essay, published here for the first time, “Straussian Geography: A Memoir and Commentary.”

Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss

German Émigrés and American Political Thought After World War II

Author: Peter Graf Kielmansegg,Horst Mewes,Elisabeth Glaser-Schmidt

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521599368

Category: History

Page: 208

View: 4010

This book explores the influence of Hannah Arendt's and Leo Strauss' background in pre-World War II Germany on their perception of American democracy. The contributors analyze how their émigré experience both influenced their American work and also impacted on the formation of the discipline of political science in postwar Germany. Arendt's and Strauss' experiences thus aptly illustrate the transfer and transformation of political ideas in the World War II era.

Die Tyrannei der Werte

Author: Carl Schmitt

Publisher: Duncker & Humblot

ISBN: 3428534573

Category: Political Science

Page: 91

View: 7088

Carl Schmitt war ein Mann des polemischen Traktats, der Streitschrift, des Pamphlets. Zu seiner eigentlichen literarischen Form fand er in dem, was die Franzosen einen brûlot nennen: ein entflammbarer Text, ein Boot mit hochentzündlicher Fracht, dazu bestimmt, das Schiff des Gegners in Brand zu setzen. Ein solcher brûlot ist die Schrift über die »Tyrannei der Werte«. Der Titel enthält bereits die ganze These. Werte können dem Gemeinwesen und seinem Recht keinen festen Grund bieten, sie verschärfen vielmehr dessen Probleme. Gerade wenn man von ihnen erwartet, sie sollen Gemeinsamkeit stiften, wirken sie zerstörerisch. [...] Der jungen Bundesrepublik, in der man sich nach der tiefen Verunsicherung durch Nationalsozialismus und Krieg gern und viel auf Werte berief, liest Carl Schmitt auf diese Weise die Leviten. So scheinbar klar seine zentrale These daherkommt, so rasch drängen sich dem Leser freilich grundsätzliche Fragen auf. Auf welcher Ebene bewegt sich Schmitts Argumentation eigentlich? Geht es um politische Philosophie, um allgemeine Ethik oder um Verfassungsrecht und Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit? Schmitt selbst gibt einen Hinweis, wenn er »Überlegungen eines Juristen zur Wert-Philosophie« ankündigt. [...] Sein Text wählt von vornherein eine schwierige Zwischenlage zwischen Philosophie und Jurisprudenz. Der Autor will Philosophen und Juristen etwas sagen, geht damit freilich auch das Risiko ein, beide zu enttäuschen.Aus dem Nachwort von Christoph Schönberger

Leo Strauss

An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy

Author: Thomas L. Pangle

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801884399

Category: Philosophy

Page: 189

View: 7443

Leo Strauss's controversial writings have long exercised a profound subterranean cultural influence, where they have been met with a flurry of poorly informed, speculative, and sometimes rather paranoid pronouncements. This book presents a non-polemical, comprehensive guide to Strauss's mature political philosophy and its intellectual influence.

An Introduction to Political Philosophy

Ten Essays

Author: Leo Strauss

Publisher: Wayne State University Press

ISBN: 9780814319024

Category: Philosophy

Page: 365

View: 9490

A reissue of the 1975 edition of Strauss' views regarding the nature of political philosophy.

The American Interest

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: World politics

Page: N.A

View: 9567

After Leo Strauss

New Directions in Platonic Political Philosophy

Author: Tucker Landy

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438451679

Category: Philosophy

Page: 237

View: 524

Proposes a post-Straussian reading of Plato to advance a reconciliation of ancient and modern theories of natural right. Few thinkers of the twentieth century studied the fundamental questions of ethics and politics, or penetrated further into the philosophical sources of the moral relativism of our times, more deeply than Leo Strauss. After Leo Strauss is not yet another attempt to explicate, critique, or defend Strauss. Instead, it encourages us to look in new directions, and to escape certain aspects of Strauss’s powerful influence, in order to revisit classic texts and make our own judgments about what those texts might mean. Tucker Landy proposes a post-Straussian reading of the Platonic dialogues that is non-esoteric yet respectful of their subtle dramatic-pedagogic form and urges us, in a spirit of Socratic humility, to reexamine ancient and modern theories of natural right to seek possible grounds for reconciliation between them. Landy puts forth a Socratic theory of democratic liberalism as an example of such reconciliation. “This book is a breath of fresh air for people like me, who were influenced by Strauss early in their philosophic careers but who refuse to dismiss metaphysics and cosmology, who are wary of the potentially narrowing effects of ‘political philosophy,’ and who are open, in their philosophical eros, to the possible truth of revelation and the wisdom of the poets. Tucker Landy gives us a new beginning—a Socrates made young and beautiful.” — Peter Kalkavage, author of The Logic of Desire: An Introduction to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

Approaches to Political Thought

Author: William L. Richter

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Incorporated

ISBN: N.A

Category: Philosophy

Page: 332

View: 5700

This book focuses on the ways in which major contemporary scholars approach political thought and writing from Plato to the present.

Lincoln and the Politics of Christian Love

Author: Grant N. Havers

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

ISBN: 0826272061

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 9378

America has seen faith-based initiatives and “the audacity of hope” in twenty-first-century politics, but few participants in our political scene have invoked the other Christian virtue of charity as a guiding principle. Abraham Lincoln extolled the merit of “loving thy neighbor as thyself,” especially as a critique of the hypocrisy of slavery, but a discussion of Christian love is noticeably absent from today’s debates about religion and democracy. In this provocative book, Grant Havers argues that charity is a central tenet of what Lincoln once called America’s “political religion.” He explores the implications of making Christian love the highest moral standard for American democracy, showing how Lincoln’s legacy demands that a true democracy be charitable toward all—and that only a people who lived according to such ideals could succeed in building democracy as Lincoln understood it. Havers argues that it is simplistic to conflate Lincoln’s invocation of “with charity for all” with his abiding support for the ideal of human equality. The ethic of charity in his view also brought a uniquely Christian realism to the universalism of democracy. He also describes how, since World War I, intellectuals and political leaders have denied that there exists a necessary relation between democracy and Christian love, proposing that democracy is sufficiently ethical without reliance on a specific religious tradition. Today’s neoconservatives and liberals instead posit a universal yearning for democracy that requires no foundation in the ethic of charity. Havers shows that this democratic universalism, espoused by those who believe a “chosen people” should uphold the natural rights of humanity, is alien to the sober thought of both the founders and Lincoln. This carefully argued work defends Lincoln’s understanding of charity as essential to democracy while emphasizing the difficulty of fusing this ethic with the desire to spread democracy to people who do not share America’s Christian heritage. In considering the prospect of America’s leaders rediscovering a moral foreign policy based on charity rather than the costly idolization of democracy, Lincoln and the Politics of Christian Love makes a timely contribution to the wider debate over both the meaning of religion in American politics and the mission of America in the world—and opens a new window on Lincoln’s lasting legacy.