From anti-liberal to untimely liberal: Leo Strauss' two critiques of liberalism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (2):157-181 (2010)
Leo Strauss’ ubiquitous presence in recent US foreign policy debates demands a thorough analysis of his critique of liberalism. I identify and explain a previously unnoticed transformation in that critique. Strauss’ Weimar critique of liberalism was philosophical and political; like Carl Schmitt, he sought philosophical grounds to replace liberalism with an authoritarian political system. However, post-emigration Strauss abandoned this political agenda, exclusively pursuing a philosophical critique that exposed modern liberalism’s purported weaknesses in order to strengthen its core. I accentuate this change by reading Strauss’ postwar lecture, ‘The Three Waves of Modernity’, as an implicit response to and reconstruction of Schmitt’s ‘Neutralizations and Depoliticizations’ essay. Strauss’ changing relationship to political theology and political philosophy was central to his transformation: while a philosophically grounded political theology undergirded his early disdain for liberalism, Strauss later abandoned political theology for a quasi-theological faith in political philosophy that motivated his more moderate, philosophical critique
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0191453709351847
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,651
External links
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

40 ( #119,432 of 1,902,528 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #452,252 of 1,902,528 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.