Picture of author.

Leo Strauss (1899–1973)

Teoksen History of Political Philosophy tekijä

69+ teosta 4,150 jäsentä 19 arvostelua 14 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was one of the preeminent political philosophers of the twentieth century. From 1949 to 1968 he was professor of political science at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many books, among them The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, Natural Right and History, and näytä lisää Spinoza's Critique of Religion, all published by the University of Chicago Press. Catherine H. Zuciert is the Nancy R. Dreux Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame. näytä vähemmän
Image credit: Photographie du Professeur Leo Strauss

Tekijän teokset

History of Political Philosophy (1963) — Toimittaja; Avustaja — 718 kappaletta
Natural Right and History (1953) 597 kappaletta
The City and Man (1977) 306 kappaletta
On Tyranny (1963) 283 kappaletta
Persecution and the Art of Writing (1952) 255 kappaletta
Thoughts on Machiavelli (1958) 209 kappaletta
Liberalism Ancient and Modern (1968) 153 kappaletta
Spinoza's Critique of Religion (1930) 126 kappaletta
Socrates and Aristophanes (1966) 104 kappaletta
Leo Strauss On Plato's Symposium (2001) 91 kappaletta
Xenophon's Socrates (1972) 51 kappaletta
Nihilisme et politique (2001) 13 kappaletta
Leo Strauss on Moses Mendelssohn (2012) 10 kappaletta
Dialogo sulla modernità (1994) 9 kappaletta
gesammelte schriften band 3 (2008) 4 kappaletta
Sin ciudades no hay filósofos (2014) 3 kappaletta
Obec a člověk (2007) 1 kappale
Le Platon de Fârâbi (2002) 1 kappale
Reflexoes Sobre Maquiavel (2015) 1 kappale
Kunst des Schreibens (2009) 1 kappale

Associated Works

The Guide of the Perplexed, Vol. 1 (1974) — Johdanto, eräät painokset210 kappaletta
Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought (1988) — Avustaja — 59 kappaletta
Religion of Reason: Out of the Sources of Judaism (1918) — Johdanto, eräät painokset48 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Kanoninen nimi
Strauss, Leo
USA (naturalized 1944)
Prussia (birth)
Kirchhain, Hesse-Nassau, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Annapolis, Maryland, USA
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Marburg an der Lahn, Germany
New York, New York, USA
Annapolis, Maryland, USA
University of Hamburg (Ph.D|1921)
University of Marburg
political philosopher
historian of philosophy
Klein, Jacob (friend)
Kojève, Alexandre (friend)
Benardete, Seth (student)
Bloom, Allan (student)
Rosen, Stanley (student)
Scholem, Gershom (friend)
University of Chicago
St. John's College
German Army (WWI)
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Grosses Verdienstkreuz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1965)
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Leo Strauss was born in a small rural town in Germany and raised in an orthodox Jewish home. He attended a gymnasium in nearby Marburg and then the University of Marburg. At age 17, he joined the German Zionist movement, in which he met many intellectuals and writers, including Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin. He received his doctorate from the University of Hamburg in 1921. In 1923, he began lecturing in Frankfurt under the auspices of a center for adult education. He published his first book, "Spinoza's Critique of Religion," in 1930, but found himself without a job a couple of years later. He won a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to begin work in France on a study of the philosopher Hobbes. In Paris, he married Marie (Miriam) Bernsohn and later adopted his wife's son. The following year, he received an extension on his Rockefeller grant to work in London and Cambridge on his book on Hobbes. Unable to obtain permanent employment in England, Prof. Strauss emigrated to the USA in 1937. After a short stint as research fellow in the Department of History at Columbia University, Prof. Strauss held a faculty position at The New School from 1938 to 1948. He became a U.S. citizen in 1944, and in 1949 he became professor of political science at the University of Chicago, where he held the Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professorship until 1969. There he taught several generations of students and published 15 books. After retiring from the University of Chicago in 1969, Prof. Strauss moved to Claremont McKenna College in California for a year, and then to St. John's College in Annapolis, where he served as Scott Buchanan Distinguished Scholar in Residence until his death. Prof. Strauss's body of work spanned ancient, medieval and modern political philosophy. He wrote mainly as a historian of philosophy and most of his writings take the form of commentaries on important thinkers and their writings.



Merkitty asiattomaksi
laplantelibrary | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 16, 2023 |
At first blush the pairing of an essay on Thucydides' Peloponnesian War with ones on Aristotle's Politics and Plato's Republic might seem a bit odd, but it's both brilliant and quite purposeful. Each essay is excellent on its own, while the combination allows Strauss to present perspectives on classical political thought that wouldn't be possible if he limited the subjects strictly to political philosophy. There's a lot of food for thought in these dense 240 pages.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
garbagedump | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 9, 2022 |
Strauss brings a boatload of scholarship to this "guide" to understanding ancient philosophers generally, and Maimonides specifically -- really all pre-Gutenberg/printing press writers. Strauss reveals basic methods used by writers to stay alive while transmitting truth. The essential example is Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, which is basically a guide to understanding Torah. Suddenly it becomes clear what Maimonides was trying to say about the invisible God, and the theophanies are all drawn from dreams.

Strauss's argument is not that medieval writers reserved one exoteric meaning for the many and an esoteric hidden meaning for the initiated few, but rather that their writings' respective core meanings extended beyond their texts' literal and/or historical dimension. Where it is politically dangerous to speak ill of God, or to deny His Existence, one technique Strauss finds is that authors write in opposites. They speak of God, and mean the opposite, as part of the style of writing. By human writing God into existence it is to show that he does not exist.

Strauss acknowledges Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's lead with his nod toward the detailed scholarship of Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786). Strauss indicates that medieval political philosophers, no less than their ancient counterparts, carefully adapted their written words to the dominant moral views of their time, lest their writings be condemned as heretical or unjust. This is because writing is a exoteric medium, although it may carry esoterica. Strauss does not claim the masses were incapable of understanding. Before mass printing post-Guttenberg, "the many" simply could not read. The danger was posed by those "few" whom the many regarded as the most righteous guardians of morality. It is those few righteous personalities who are most inclined to persecute or ostracize anyone who is in the business of exposing the "noble lie" which supports the authority of the few over the many. Strauss thus presents Maimonides doing battle against forces of tyranny, who is himself not defending tyranny. We fairly conclude that Maimonides--and a grand boatload of other ancient writers--where nonbelievers in the cults and frauds of religion. In the Guide, Maimonides necessarily obfuscates his message for political reasons.

This collection of Strauss' writings includes some of his essays on Judah Halevi’s "Kuzari", and Spinoza’s "Tractatus Theologico-Politicus", touching upon the same lifesaving methods. This work is clearly about "political philosophy", in the practical and liberating sense.

Strauss notes that while former generations publicly denounced Spinoza as an atheist, today it is almost a heresy to point out that fact. Strauss analyses this phenomenal shift of perspective on the same text. He notes that today (in the late 1900s) we enjoy more detachment from religious fanaticism, and that the phenomenon and the causes of exotericism have almost completely been forgotten. Esoteric priesthoods lost their power with the mass printing of the press.

Strauss points out, and I quote, that Spinoza's Treatise is addressed to Christians, not because Spinoza believed in the truth of Christianity or even the superiority of Christianity to Judaism, but because "ad captum vulgi loqui" means "ad captum hodierni vulgi loqui" or to accommodate oneself to the ruling opinions of one's time, and Christianity, not Judaism, was literally ruling. In other words, Spinoza desired to convert to philosophy "as many as possible". Since there were many more Christians in the world than there were Jews, Spinoza addresses the largest number of the public.

Strauss himself apparently never thought it worth his while to write a single essay on a Christian thinker. His chosen ones or authorial limits for himself, are the Greeks, medieval Jews and Arabs, and the secular moderns (Spinoza, Hobbes, Rousseau, etc.). One 1952 reviewer, Irving Kristol, suspected that for Professor Strauss, Christianity is an unstable synthesis of doctrines. (Irving Kristol died in 2008, known as the "godfather of neo-conservative thinking", and father of William Kristol, editor of Weekly Standard). https://www.commentary.org/articles/irving-kristol/persecution-and-the-art-of-wr.... Professor Strauss' invocation by neo-conservatives has been profoundly disputed. He was not a fascist apologist, according to actual scholars, to his academic and attending daughter [https://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/07/opinion/the-real-leo-strauss.html], and to myself as one of his students.
… (lisätietoja)
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Merkitty asiattomaksi
keylawk | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 18, 2022 |
Michael Zank has selected, edited and translated essays by Leo Strauss that originally appeared for the most part in German Jewish journals associated with Jewish studies, particularly journals focused on the problems of Zionism. Strauss, then in his 20's, was determined to approach these controversies and scholarly disputes from a critical perspective. It's not that he stayed above the fray as he ultimately came down on the side of "political Zionism" as opposed to the middle ground of "cultural Zionism". But he subjected friend and foe to a critical examination based on reason and finally prescribed a frankly, atheistic political Zionism liberated from the Jewish faith. He engaged in posthumous controversy over Hermann Cohen's treatment of Spinoza which led to a deeper study of Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise and its relation to his Ethics. This study culminated in Strauss's 'Spinoza's Critique of Religion", originally published in 1930, comprised of writings produced during the period 1925-28, including several selections in the volume edited by Zank.

Following the arguments of these texts is challenging, especially to any reader who is not at home with a solid foundation in the the Torah, Talmud, the history of Zionism in Germany and the major thinkers and scholars who immediately preceded Strauss or were his contemporaries. By the beginning of the 1930s Strauss had begun a reorientation that led him to the study of the medieval political philosophers on the way back to the level of the natural obstacles to philosophy that formed the original metaphor of the cave described by Socrates in Plato's Republic. That reorientation begins with his work on Spinoza.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
citizencane | Mar 6, 2021 |



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