Leo Strauss's introductions to ten writings of Moses Mendelssohn -- Preliminary remark by Alexander Altmann -- Introduction to Pope a metaphysician! -- Introduction to "Epistle to Mr. Lessing in Leipzig" -- Introduction to Commentary on Moses Maimonides' "Logical terms" -- Introduction to Treatise on evidence in metaphysical sciences -- Introduction to Phädon -- Introduction to Treatise on the incorporeality of the human soul -- Introduction to "On a handwritten essay of Mr. de Luc's" -- Introduction to The soul -- (...) Introduction to Morning hours and to the friends of Lessing -- Introduction to God's cause, or providence vindicated. (shrink)
Leo Strauss's essays and lectures on Maimonides -- Point of departure: why study medieval thinkers? -- How to study medieval philosophy (1944) -- On Maimonides -- Spinoza's critique of Maimonides (1930) -- Cohen and Maimonides (1931) -- The philosophic foundation of the law: Maimonides' doctrine of prophecy and its sources.
Contents: FOREWORD Aronson, Moses J.; THE HUMANIZATION OF PHILOSOPHY Ayres, Clarence Edwin, THE GOSPEL OF TECHNOLOGY Bates, Ernest Sutherland; TOWARD A SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY Bode, Boyd H.; "THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM" Cohen Felix S.; THE SOCIALIZATION OF MORALITY Costello, Harry Todd, A PHILOSOPHER AMONG THE METAPHYSICIANS Durant, Will; AN AMATEUR'S PHILOSOPHY Edman, Irwin; THE NATURALISTIC TEMPER Flewelling, Ralph Tyler; THE NEW TASK OF PHILOSOPHY Holt, Edwin Bissell; THE WHIMSICAL CONDITION OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, AND OF MANKIND Hook, Sidney; EXPERIMENTAL NATURALISM Irving, (...) John Allan; TOWARD RADICAL EMPIRICISM IN ETHICS Kallen, Horace Meyer . (shrink)
Atran proposes that humans have a unique, innate, domain-specific tendency to create taxonomies of biological kinds. We show that: (1) in ontogenesis, children develop a notion Atran claims to be innate; (2) what Atran claims is unique to biological kinds may be found in artifact kinds; and (3) although Atran proposes a domain-specific mental construct for biological rank, it can be explained in domain- general terms.
We propose that in addition to children's requests for word names being a reflection of an understanding of the referential nature of words, they may also be requests for adult's teaching. These possible requests for teaching among toddlers, along with other indications, suggest that teaching may be a natural cognition that may be related to the development of theory of mind.
Leo Strauss argued that the most visible fact about Machiavelli's doctrine is also the most useful one: Machiavelli seems to be a teacher of wickedness. Strauss sought to incorporate this idea in his interpretation without permitting it to overwhelm or exhaust his exegesis of The Prince and the Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy . "We are in sympathy," he writes, "with the simple opinion about Machiavelli [namely, the wickedness of his teaching], not only because it (...) is wholesome, but above all because a failure to take that opinion seriously prevents one from doing justice to what is truly admirable in Machiavelli: the intrepidity of his thought, the grandeur of his vision, and the graceful subtlety of his speech." This critique of the founder of modern political philosophy by this prominent twentieth-century scholar is an essential text for students of both authors. (shrink)
Leo Strauss articulates the conflict between reason and revelation as he explores Spinoza's scientific, comparative, and textual treatment of the Bible. Strauss compares Spinoza's Theologico-political Treatise and the Epistles, showing their relation to critical controversy on religion from Epicurus and Lucretius through Uriel da Costa and Isaac Peyrere to Thomas Hobbes. Strauss's autobiographical Preface, traces his dilemmas as a young liberal intellectual in Germany during the Weimar Republic, as a scholar in exile, and as a leader of (...) American philosophical thought. "[For] those interested in Strauss the political philosopher, and also those who doubt whether we have achieved the 'final solution' in respect to either the character of political science or the problem of the relation of religion to the state." -- Journal of Politics "A substantial contribution to the thinking of all those interested in the ageless problems of faith, revelation, and reason." -- Kirkus Reviews Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Chicago. His contributions to political science include The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, The City and the Man, What is Political Philosophy?, and Liberalism Ancient and Modern. (shrink)
The essays collected in Persecution and the Art of Writing all deal with one problem--the relation between philosophy and politics. Here, Strauss sets forth the thesis that many philosophers, especially political philosophers, have reacted to the threat of persecution by disguising their most controversial and heterodox ideas.
"All political action has . . . in itself a directedness towards knowledge of the good: of the good life, or of the good society. For the good society is the complete political good. If this directedness becomes explicit, if men make it their explicit goal to acquire knowledge of the good life and of the good society, political philosophy emerges. . . . The theme of political philosophy is mankind's great objectives, freedom and government or empire--objectives which are capable (...) of lifting all men beyond their poor selves. Political philosophy is that branch of philosophy which is closest to political life, to non-philosophic life, to human life."--From "What Is Political Philosophy?" What Is Political Philosophy? --a collection of ten essays and lectures and sixteen book reviews written between 1943 and 1957--contains some of Leo Strauss's most famous writings and some of his most explicit statements of the themes that made him famous. The title essay records Strauss's sole extended articulation of the meaning of political philosophy itself. Other essays discuss the relation of political philosophy to history, give an account of the political philosophy of the non-Christian Middle Ages and of classic European modernity, and present his theory of esoteric writing. (shrink)
This remarkable expression of radical republican thought has never before been published. Algernon Sidney was among the most unrelenting partisans of the parliamentary party during the Commonwealth, and died on the scaffold in 1683 for his opposition to Charles II. Sidney's voluminous Discourses Concerning Government was published after his death, but the earlier and more vivid Court Maxims was only recently rediscovered in a manuscript in Warwick Castle. Written during Sidney's continental exile, Court Maxims reveals the international (...) character of republican thought. Its dialogue structure presents a lively discussion about the principles of government and the practice of politics, articulating a vital tradition of republicanism in an age of absolutism. These characteristics make Court Maxims a unique text, essential reading for anyone interested in republicanism or Early Modern political thought. (shrink)
Occasion and purpose of the study -- Hobbes's politics and the critique of revelation -- The different versions of Hobbes's critique of religion -- The critique of the tradition -- The principle of scripture -- Spirits and angels -- The kingdom of God and eternal life -- Temporal and spiritual power -- The kingdom of darkness -- Characteristics of the critique of the tradition -- The critique of scripture -- The knowability and the believability of revelation -- The knowability and (...) the possibility of revelation -- The knowability and the possibility of miracles -- Hobbes and Descartes -- The basis of Hobbes's critique of religion. (shrink)
A Christian approach to scholarship, directed by the central biblical motive of creation, fall and redemption and guided by the theoretical idea that God subjected all of creation to His Law-Word, delimiting and determining the cohering diversity we experience within reality, in principle safe-guards those in the grip of this ultimate commitment and theoretical orientation from absolutizing or deifying anything within creation. In this article my over-all approach is focused on the one-sided legacy of mathematics, starting with Pythagorean arithmeticism (“everything (...) is number”), continuing with the geometrization of mathematics after the discovery of irrational numbers and once again, during the nineteenth century returning to an arithmeticistic position. The third option, never explored during the history of mathematics, guides our analysis: instead of reducing space to number or number to space it is argued that both the uniqueness of these two aspects and their mutual coherence ought to direct mathematics. The presence of different schools of thought is highlighted and then the argument proceeds by distinguishing numerical and spatial facts, while accounting for the strict correlation of operations on the law side of the numerical aspect and their correlated numerical subjects (numbers). Discussing the examples of 2 + 2 = 4 and the definition of a straight line as the shortest distance between two points provide the background for a brief sketch of the third alternative proposed (inter alia against the background of an assessment of infinity and continuity and the vicious circles present in contemporary mathematical arithmeticistic claims). (shrink)
It is well known that number theory can be interpreted in the usual set theories, e.g. ZF, NF and their extensions. The problem I posed for myself was to see if, conversely, a reasonably strong set theory could be interpreted in number theory. The reason I am interested in this problem is, simply, that number theory is more basic or more concrete than set theory, and hence a more concrete foundation for mathematics. A partial solution to the problem was accomplished (...) by WTN in , where it was shown that a predicative set theory could be interpreted in a natural extension of pure number theory, PN, (i.e. classical first-order Peano Arithmetic). In this paper, we go a step further by showing that a reasonably strong fragment of predicative set theory can be interpreted in PN itself. We then make an attempt to show how to develop predicative fragments of mathematics in PN.If one wishes to know what is meant by reasonably strong and fragment please read on. (shrink)
What sort of public speech is appropriate for a republic at war? At any time, public speech in a republic should be clear, simple, rational, and focused on the public interest. In the heat of war, the speaker must be not merely moral, but cunning; he should employ a rhetoric that is restrained and unemotional, realistic and hard-headed, yet also decent and principled. The study of Thucydides, particularly of his so-called Mytilenian Debate, underlines this lesson.
(1) The form of scientific probability sentences is given unambiguously for the first time by quantum mechanics (form (II); all scientific probability statements can be written in this form. (2) The rules of transformation are also determined by quantum mechanics they agree with the axioms given by Reichenbach (1), p. 118. (3) Frequency interpretation agreeing with the statistical tests used in scientific practice can be given in the frame of truth-semantics at least aa a first approximation.
This volume provides an unequaled introduction to the thought of chief contributors to the Western tradition of political philosophy from classical Greek antiquity to the twentieth century. Written by specialists on the various philosophers, this third edition has been expanded significantly to include both new and revised essays.
Three upper level high school students write on the issues of gender roles in families and define the norm for acceptable behavior and structure for a traditional family. These issues expand on the ideal lifestyle for high school students, the norm of marriage, and step-parent responsibilities and boundaries.
Last year, more than seven million Americans participated in yoga or tai chi classes.Yet despite its popularity the real nature of yoga remains shrouded in mystery. A diverse range of practitioners range from white-bearded Indian mystics to celebrities like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. Positioning Yoga provides an overview of the development of yoga, from its introduction to Western audiences by the Indian Swami Vivekananda at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago to forms of modern practice. What makes (...) yoga practitioners affiliated with Swami Sivananda's Divine Life Society of Rishikesh, India unique--whether they hail from Indian, North America, or Europe? What values around the world have supported the surging popularity of yoga over the past century? This absorbing book considers how lifestyle values have made yoga a global industry and shows how this popular "lifestyle" is produced and disseminated across boundaries. (shrink)
David Friedrich Strauss is best known for his mythical interpretation of the Gospel narratives. He opposed both the supernaturalists (who regarded the Gospel stories as reliable) and the rationalists (who offered natural explanations of purportedly supernatural events). His mythical interpretation suggests that many of the stories about Jesus were woven out of pre-existing messianic beliefs and expectations. Picking up this suggestion, I argue that the Gospel writers thought paradigmatically rather than historically. A paradigmatic explanation assimilates the event-to-be- explained to (...) what is thought to be a prototypical instance of divine action. It differs from a historical or scientific explanation insofar as it does not specify the conditions under which it should be applied. It is, therefore, a wonderfully flexible way to understand the present in the light of the past. (shrink)
Questa ricerca, attraverso alcune letture incrociate di Michel Foucault e di Claude Lévi-Strauss, mette in luce l’attualità di due grandi pensatori che pongono al centro delle loro teorie il tema della distanza, dell’altro da sé e del ritorno a sé per comprendere il ruolo del soggetto nella civiltà occidentale. Al di là delle rilevanti differenze che li contraddistinguono, Foucault e Lévi-Strauss percorrono due cammini teorici volti a decostruire il rapporto tra verità e soggetto nella civiltà occidentale adottando una (...) prospettiva della distanza e dell’allontanamento da sé, quali tecniche per comprendere se stessi. Da una parte il concetto foucaultiano di eterotopia, in quanto «spazio assolutamente altro», permette di comprendere i meccanismi attraverso i quali ci si proietta in un altrove senza luogo preciso per localizzare se stessi. Il campo dell’etnologia, sarà dunque letto attraverso la lente foucaultiana, quale «eterotopologia», o scienza eterotopica, per eccellenza. Dall’altra, questo concetto sarà analizzato alla luce di quello che Lévi-Strauss ha definito nel saggio sui Tre umanesimi una «tecnica dello straniamento», ovvero un metodo che permette di pensare se stessi grazie al confronto con l’Altro, con culture di altri luoghi ed altri tempi: per conoscere il soggetto che è l’uomo, non si può non prescindere da un lavoro di continui raffronti e paragoni tra diverse società nel tempo e nello spazio. (shrink)
Newly re-printed, Sydney Hook’s classic (1939) work on Dewey appears with an Introduction by Richard Rorty. Hook may help us see how Dewey fit into his own time. That story is important. The new printing may also help us see how Dewey fits into our time. Rorty lauds more recent treatments of Dewey’s work, especially Robert Westbrook’s intellectual biography John Dewey and American Democracy (1991), and Steven Rockefeller’s John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (1991) gets honorable mention. Specific comments (...) focus on Alan Ryan’s John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism (1995). “It may be that Dewey and Hook witnessed, as Alan Ryan suggests, ... ‘the high tide of American liberalism,’ but if this is so, then America has lost its soul.”1 Even future-focused pragmatists need to look back to Dewey and Hook. They were “Americans” who, in the final words of the Hook volume, “still had hope for what America may yet be.”. (shrink)
A careful reading of Harvey C. Mansfield's Manlines s (2006) and the recent translation (2007) of Daniel Tanguay's Leo Strauss; une biographie intellectuelle (2003) reveals that neither text supports the view that Leo Strauss was a harmless if qualified friend of liberal democracy. Key Words: Leo Strauss • Straussians • Nietzsche • Carl Schmitt • Heidegger • National Socialism • Liberalism • Redlichkeit • Hobbes • Hegel • Viktor Trivas.
Strauss championed a philosophy of history according to which philosophers characteristically hide their actual beliefs when writing about ethics and politics. This paper begins by suggesting that an esoteric philosophy of history encourages a set of specific biases when writing histories of philosophy. Proponents of esotericism are liable to be far too ready to conclude that philosophers intended to hide their beliefs; they are likely to be insufficiently attuned to the varied contexts in which philosophers write; and they are (...) likely to be too ready to assimilate the beliefs of philosophers to a norm. Thereafter the paper considers the presence of these biases in Strauss's account of modernity. Strauss allows for waves of modernity but he defines these waves as part of a single, monolithic project that is defined in contrast to the esoteric character of ancient philosophy and that leads inexorably to nihilism. Once we correct for the biases mentioned above, however, modernity appears as a series of projects located in specific contexts and confronting particular dilemmas. Again, where Strauss presents our own era as one of crisis, this revised account of modernity suggests that we merely confront the more local issue of how to forge a community out of self-governing individuals. (shrink)
Against the background of Gadamer's hermeneutics of trust, for which the primary concern of the hermeneutical enterprise is the matter under discussion, the Sache, this essay raises the question of Gadamer's treatment of irony. Gadamer and Gadamerians have criticized the hermeneutics of suspicion—a hermeneutics that always looks under the surface of what is said to see what is hidden. This would seem to make irony a problematic aspect of texts and discourse for a Gadamerian hermeneutics. Nowhere in Gadamer's corpus can (...) we find an extensive discussion of irony, but Gadamer does raise the question of irony in a provocative way in several important junctures. This essay contrasts Gadamer's treatment of irony to that of Leo Strauss and Jacques Derrida. It explores why for Gadamer irony does not call for a hermeneutics of suspicion. (shrink)
This study shows that despite the fact that Leo Strauss published little about Jacobi, the misunderstood thinker about whom he wrote his doctoral dissertation exercised a crucial influence on what is often thought to be Strauss's most enduring achievement: his rediscovery of exotericism. A consideration of several of Strauss's writings that do mention Jacobi but remained unpublished at the time of his death—in particular his studies on Moses Mendelssohn, who was Jacobi's principal target (...) in the Pantheismusstreit—reveal that Strauss considered Jacobi to be an exoteric writer. Appropriately enough, it is only a Straussian-style reading of Strauss's claims that exotericism lapsed after Lessing's death that reveals Jacobi's influence between the lines. Some consideration is given to the question of why Strauss wrote about Jacobi in this secretive way. (shrink)
Bringing continental sensibilities and skill to his project, David Janssens has abandoned the line of defense heretofore used by North American intellectuals to shield Leo Strauss from criticism: Janssens wastes no time trying to prove Strauss was a liberal democrat, frankly admits his atheism, and emphasizes the continuity and European origins of his thought. Nevertheless committed to defending Strauss even at his most vulnerable points, Janssens is compelled to anchor his new defensive position on a misreading of (...) what he calls "an inconspicuous footnote" in Philosophie und Gesetz (1935). (shrink)
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. (shrink)
This work first appeared as Sidney Hook's dissertation, afterward quickly published by Open Court in 1927, the same year Hook began his long career at New York University. Heretofore difficult to find, it now appears as a handsome and timely reprint, carrying John Dewey's original "Introductory Word," and providing opportunity to look back at the pragmatist tradition and the controversial role of metaphysics in it.
This essay, which will be divided between two SOPHIA editions, proposes to test the consensus in Maimonidean scholarship on the alleged intellectualism of Leo Strauss’ Maimonides by making a close interpretive study of Strauss’ 1963 essay ‘How to Begin to Study the Guide for the Perplexed’. While the importance of this essay, which is Strauss’ last extended piece on the Guide, is established in Maimonidean scholarship, its recognised esotericism has been matched by a dearth of detailed studies (...) of the piece. We aim in this essay to try to rectify this situation, by reading ‘How to Begin to Study’ as Strauss directs us to read esoteric texts in Persecution and the Art of Writing. As one control on our exegetical claims, we will close by situating our reading of ‘How to Begin to Study’ and Strauss’ positions there on philosophy, prophecy and the Torah alongside the claims of his earlier, much less esoteric, but also rarely studied: ‘Some Remarks on the Political Science of Maimonides and Farabi’. Because of the now widely recognised foundational importance of Maimonides in understanding Leo Strauss’ own lasting positions, this work will have wider importance in Strauss scholarship, and hopefully make a contribution to the continuing task of trying to understand Strauss’ important thoughts on Athens and Jerusalem, reason and revelation, the city and man. (shrink)
In Natural Right and History Leo Strauss argues for the continuing “relevance” of the classical understanding of natural right. Since this relevance is not a matter of a direct return, or a renewed appreciation that a neglected doctrine is simply true, the meaning of this claim is some- what elusive. But it is clear enough that the core of Strauss’s argument for that relevance is a claim about the relation between human experience and philosophy. Strauss argues that (...) the classical understanding articulates and is continuous with the “lived experience” of engaged participants in political life, the ordinary, and he argues (in a way quite similar to claims in Heidegger) that such an ordinary or everyday point of view has been “lost.” The author presents here an interpretation and critique of such a claim. (shrink)
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. (shrink)