Leo Strauss And The Problem Of Political Philosophy

Paperback | April 7, 2017

byMichael P. Zuckert, Catherine H. Zuckert

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Leo Strauss and his alleged political influence regarding the Iraq War have in recent years been the subject of significant media attention, including stories in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.Time magazine even called him “one of the most influential men in American politics.” With The Truth about Leo Strauss, Michael and Catherine Zuckert challenged the many claims and speculations about this notoriously complex thinker. Now, with Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy, they turn their attention to a searching and more comprehensive interpretation of Strauss’s thought as a whole, using the many manifestations of the “problem of political philosophy” as their touchstone.
 
For Strauss, political philosophy presented a “problem” to which there have been a variety of solutions proposed over the course of Western history. Strauss’s work, they show, revolved around recovering—and restoring—political philosophy to its original Socratic form. Since positivism and historicism represented two intellectual currents that undermined the possibility of a Socratic political philosophy, the first part of the book is devoted to Strauss’s critique of these two positions. Then, the authors explore Strauss’s interpretation of the history of philosophy and both ancient and modern canonical political philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Locke. Strauss’s often-unconventional readings of these philosophers, they argue, pointed to solutions to the problem of political philosophy. Finally, the authors examine Strauss’s thought in the context of the twentieth century, when his chief interlocutors were Schmitt, Husserl, Heidegger, and Nietzsche.
 
The most penetrating and capacious treatment of the political philosophy of this complex and often misunderstood thinker, from his early years to his last works, Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy reveals Strauss’s writings as an attempt to show that the distinctive characteristics of ancient and modern thought derive from different modes of solving the problem of political philosophy and reveal why he considered the ancient solution both philosophically and politically superior.

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From the Publisher

Leo Strauss and his alleged political influence regarding the Iraq War have in recent years been the subject of significant media attention, including stories in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.Time magazine even called him “one of the most influential men in American politics.” With The Truth about Leo Strauss, Michael and ...

Michael Zuckert is a Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and the author of Natural Rights and the New Republicanism, The Natural Rights Republic, and Launching Liberalism.Catherine Zuckert is a Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and the author ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:399 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:April 7, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022647948X

ISBN - 13:9780226479484

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Prologue

Part I. Positivism and Historicism

Chapter One Introductory: Political Philosophy and Its Enemies
Chapter Two The Problem of Historicism and the Fusion of Philosophy and History

Part II. Strauss and the Philosophers

Chapter Three Strauss’s Rereading of the History of Political Philosophy: An Overview
Chapter Four Reviving Western Civilization from Its Roots: Strauss’s Return to Premodern Thought
Chapter Five Strauss’s New Reading of Plato
Chapter Six Why Strauss Is Not an Aristotelian
Chapter Seven At the Crossroads: Strauss on the Coming of Modernity
Chapter Eight Strauss on Locke and the Law of Nature

Part III. Strauss in the Twentieth Century

Chapter Nine Strauss’s Practical Politics: From Weimar to America
Chapter Ten Strauss and His Contemporaries
Chapter Eleven Strauss as Educator: The Great Books in the Modern World
Chapter Twelve Straussians

Conclusion Strauss’s Project: Reviving Socratic Political Philosophy
 
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“The Zuckerts have succeeded beautifully. This latest effort will serve both as an excellent introduction for those unfamiliar with Strauss’s thought and influence and as a path to a much fuller understanding for those who are already familiar with some aspects of his works.”