David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Heythrop Journal 53 (3):418-431 (2011)
The Old Testament epigraphs used by Leo Strauss for his study Natural Right and History tend invariably to vex his readers. In the book itself and in other of his writings, Strauss explicitly states that the Old Testament tradition does not know ‘nature’ in the philosophical sense, and hence the concept of ‘natural right’ is unknown or alien to that tradition. Another, more obvious problem they present has been seemingly universally passed over by commentators: neither epigraph tells the reader anything explicitly about right, natural or otherwise. One cannot claim them to contain lessons about right, because such lessons are not directly extractable from the epigraphs as they stand. Here I wish to argue that Strauss's choice of epigraph does two things: first, it points to the fact that Old Testament stories can be given a political reading, or used to illustrate political lessons. In implying this, Strauss is following Machiavelli, who is the most important figure in Natural Right and History. Second, the epigraphs point to the deeply problematic nature of the concept of natural right, primarily the equivocal nature of the term, a difficulty never made explicit by Strauss but the awareness of which permeates his study
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Richard Kennington (1981). Strauss's Natural Right and History. Review of Metaphysics 35 (1):57 - 86.
Niccolo Machiavelli (2008). The Prince. The Modern Library.
Niccolò Machiavelli (1640/1969). The Prince. Menston, Eng.,Scolar Press.
John P. McCormick (ed.) (2002). Confronting Mass Democracy and Industrial Technology: Political and Social Theory From Nietzsche to Habermas. Duke University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert Pippin (2003). The Unavailability of the Ordinary: Strauss on the Philosophical Fate of Modernity. Political Theory 31 (3):335-358.
S. B. Smith (2013). Leo Strauss's Discovery of the Theologico-Political Problem. European Journal of Political Theory 12 (4):388-408.
Matthew Sharpe (2011). 'In the Court of a Great King': Some Remarks on Leo Strauss' Introduction to the Guide for the Perplexed. Sophia 50 (1):141-158.
Laurence Lampert (1996). Leo Strauss and Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press.
Leo Strauss (2013). Leo Strauss on Maimonides: The Complete Writings. The University of Chicago Press.
Cropsey, Joseph & [From Old Catalog] (1964). Ancients and Moderns; Essays on the Tradition of Political Philosophy in Honor of Leo Strauss. New York, Basic Books.
Steven B. Smith (ed.) (2009). The Cambridge Companion to Leo Strauss. Cambridge University Press.
Michael Zuckert (2013). Strauss on Locke and the Law of Nature. In Rafael Major (ed.), Leo Strauss's Defense of the Philosophic Life: Reading "What is Political Philosophy?". The University of Chicago Press.
Rafael Major (ed.) (2013). Leo Strauss's Defense of the Philosophic Life: Reading "What is Political Philosophy?". The University of Chicago Press.
Catherine H. Zuckert (2006). The Truth About Leo Strauss: Political Philosophy and American Democracy. University of Chicago Press.
Radoslav A. Tsanoff (1955). Book Review:Natural Law and History. Leo Strauss. [REVIEW] Ethics 65 (2):139-.
Darrel D. Colson (1991). The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: An Introduction to the Thought of Leo Strauss: Essays and Lectures by Leo Strauss. Ancient Philosophy 11 (2):461-465.
Leo Strauss (1952). The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, its Basis and its Genesis. [Chicago]University of Chicago Press.
Heinrich Meier (2006). Leo Strauss and the Theological-Political Problem. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2011-10-11
Total downloads12 ( #133,516 of 1,099,959 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #40,751 of 1,099,959 )
How can I increase my downloads?