This book is the culmination of Heinrich Meier's acclaimed analyses of the controversial thought of Carl Schmitt. Meier identifies the core of Schmitt's thought as political theology--that is, political theorizing that claims to have its ultimate ground in the revelation of a mysterious or supra-rational God. This radical, but half-hidden, theological foundation unifies the whole of Schmitt's often difficult and complex oeuvre, cutting through the intentional deceptions and unintentional obfuscations that have eluded previous commentators. Relating this religious dimension to Schmitt's (...) support for National Socialism and his continuing anti-Semitism, Meier compels the reader to come to terms with the irreconcilable differences between political theology and political philosophy. His book will give pause to those who have tended to gloss over the troubling aspects of some of Schmitt's ideas. With editions in German, French, Italian, and now English, Meier's two books on Schmitt have dramatically reoriented the international debate about Carl Schmitt and his significance for twentieth-century political thought. "Standing far above the rest . . . is Heinrich Meier's new study, Die Lehre Carl Schmitts , which covers all of Schmitt's writings. . . . Meier's work has forced everyone to take a second look at the assumptions underlying Schmitt's better-known writings and reconsider some that have been ignored."--Mark Lilla, reviewing the German edition in The New York Review of Books. (shrink)
This book, by one of the most prominent interpreters of Leo Strauss's thought, was the first to address the problem that Leo Strauss himself said was the theme of his studies: the theologico-political problem or the confrontation with the theological and the political alternative to philosophy as a way of life. In his theologico-political treatise, which comprises four parts and an appendix, Heinrich Meier clarifies the distinction between political theology and political philosophy and reappraises the unifying center of Strauss's philosophical (...) enterprise. The book is the culmination of Meier's work on the theologico-political problem. It will interest anyone who seeks to understand both the problem caused by revelation for philosophy and the challenge posed by political-religious radicalism. The appendix makes available for the first time two lectures by Strauss that are immediately relevant to the subject of this book and that will open the way for future research and debate on the legacy of Strauss. (shrink)
By one of the most prominent interpreters of Leo Strauss's thought, this book is the first to examine the theme that Strauss considered to be key to his entire intellectual enterprise. The theologico-political problem refers to the confrontation between the theological and political alternative to philosophy as a way of life. Heinrich Meier clarifies the distinction between political theology and political philosophy and sheds new light on the unifying center of Strauss' philosophical work. The culmination of his work on the (...) theologico-political problem, it will be of interest to anyone who has followed the debate about American foreign policy since September 11, 2001 and who seeks to understand the challenge posed by political - religious radicalism. This volume also makes available, for the first time, two lectures by Strauss which are directly relevant to this subject and which will pave the way for future research and debate on his legacy. (shrink)
Alexandre Kojève had traveled via Peking. The high official of the French Ministry of the Economy stopped off in Berlin in order to speak to the heads of the German Socialist Student Association. In the Hotel Berliner Hof on Lake Diana, the Parisian guest advised Dutschke & Co. that the most important thing they could do would be to learn Greek. Such an answer to the question “What is to be done?” was not expected from this famous man, whose legendary (...) seminars on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit in the Thirties had inspired an entire generation of French scholars and intellectuals. Kojève's long-standing acquaintance, who looked after his guest during his stay in Berlin, was no less baffled to hear from the Hegelian that his next stop was Plettenberg. “Where else should one travel to in Germany? Carl Schmitt is after all the only one with whom it is worthwhile to talk.”. (shrink)
This collection by some of the leading scholars of Strauss's work is the first devoted to Strauss's thought regarding education. It seeks to address his conception of education as it applies to a range of his most important concepts, such as his views on the importance of revelation, his critique of modern democracy and the importance of modern classical education.
"On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life" presents Heinrich Meier's confrontation with Rousseau's "Rêveries", his most beautiful and daring writing. The "Rêveries" show the fire of philosophy in the mirror of the water; in the reflections of the unlimited, needing more precise determination; of the inconspicuous, needing careful inspection; and of the surface, needing in-depth Interpretation.
In this book Heinrich Meier takes on the question of the meaning of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which has long proven controversial among readers. Meier closely examines the work to find a coherent structure and uncover the meanings in the figure of Zarathustra. By showing the unity in Zarathustra's life and teaching, Meier argues that the hidden architecture of the work reveals the development of self-knowledge for the philosopher. What Is Nietzsche's Zarathustra? A Philosophical Confrontation makes clear in its careful (...) attention to the text that Nietzsche's deepest concern is with understanding himself and the world, rather than with a view of himself as a prophet. (shrink)
Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle is a collection of essays composed by students and friends of Thomas L. Pangle to honor his seminal work and outstanding guidance in the study of political philosophy. These essays examine both Socrates' and modern political philosophers' attempts to answer the question of the right life for human beings, as those attempts are introduced and elaborated in the work of thinkers from Homer and Thucydides to Nietzsche and Charles Taylor.
WE ALL KNOW THE PICTURE OF THE PHILOSOPHER that Aristophanes drew in the Clouds for both philosophers and nonphilosophers. As he is shown to us in this most famous and thoughtworthy of comedies, the philosopher, consumed by a burning thirst for knowledge, lives for inquiry alone. In choosing his objects, he allows himself neither to be led by patriotic motives or social interests nor to be determined by the distinctions between good and evil, beautiful and ugly, useful and harmful. Religious (...) prohibitions frighten him as little as do the power of the majority or the ridicule of the uncomprehending. His attention is fixed on questions of the philosophy of nature and of language, in particular on those of cosmology, biology, and logic. By the keenness of his mental powers, the intransigence of his scientific manner, and the superiority of his power of discourse, he casts a spell on his pupils and gains coworkers, who assist him in his zoological experiments, astronomical and meteorological observations, or geometrical measurements. His self-control and endurance enable him to withstand every deprivation that results from carrying out his scientific projects. By contrast, he lacks moderation. Piety and justice do not count among the qualities on which his reputation is based. Authority and tradition mean nothing to him. In making his innovations, he no more takes into consideration what is time-honored than in his teaching he takes account of the vital needs of the society on whose fringes he places himself along with his friends and pupils. The laboratory in which he pursues his studies is supported for the most part by voluntary donations and owes its existence, moreover, to its relative seclusion and inconspicuousness. It is similar to a bubble that is connected to its surroundings only by a modest exchange of air. However, the precautions taken by the school are so insufficient and the restrictions on entrance so slight that outsiders can be allowed in, if they so desire, without close scrutiny of their fitness and can thereby become witness to the most shocking statements and arguments, such as when the philosopher reveals to a neophyte in almost as many words that the supreme god who is honored in the political community not only does not exist but also does not deserve to be honored, and therefore is not a god. (shrink)