Leo Strauss

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Leo Strauss
Western Philosophy
20th-century philosophy

Leo Strauss
Full name Leo Strauss
School/tradition Continental Philosophy, Platonism, Conservatism
Main interests Metaphysics, Epistemology, Greek philosophy, History of philosophy, Philosophy of religion, Political philosophy, Nihilism, Continental philosophy, Politics
Notable ideas Esotericism

Leo Strauss (September 20, 1899 – October 18, 1973) was a German-born Jewish-American political philosopher who specialized in classical political philosophy. He spent most of his career as a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, where he taught several generations of students and published 15 books. Although this is an academically contentious claim, since his death, he has been described by some commentators as one of the intellectual fathers of neoconservatism in the United States.


[edit] Early life

Leo Strauss was born in the small town of Kirchhain in Hesse-Nassau, a province of the Kingdom of Prussia (part of the German Empire), on September 20, 1899, to Hugo Strauss and Jennie Strauss, née David. According to Allan Bloom's 1974 obituary in Political Theory, Strauss "was raised as an Orthodox Jew," but the family does not appear to have completely embraced Orthodox practice.[1]

In "A Giving of Accounts", published in The College 22 (1) and later reprinted in Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity, Strauss noted he came from a "conservative, even orthodox Jewish home," but one which knew little about Judaism except strict adherence to ceremonial laws. His father and uncle operated a farm supply and livestock business that they inherited from their father, Meyer (1835–1919), a leading member of the local Jewish community.

[edit] Education

After attending the Kirchhain Volksschule and the Protestant Rektoratsschule, Leo Strauss was enrolled at the Gymnasium Philippinum (affiliated with the University of Marburg) in nearby Marburg (from which Johannes Althusius and Carl J. Friedrich also graduated) in 1912, graduating in 1917. He boarded with the Marburg Cantor Strauss (no relation); the Cantor's residence served as a meeting place for followers of the neo-Kantian philosopher Hermann Cohen. Strauss served in the German army during World War I from July 5, 1917 to December 1918.

Strauss subsequently enrolled in the University of Hamburg, where he received his doctorate in 1921; his thesis, "On the Problem of Knowledge in the Philosophical Doctrine of F. H. Jacobi", was supervised by Ernst Cassirer. He also attended courses at the Universities of Freiburg and Marburg, including some taught by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. Strauss joined a Jewish fraternity and worked for the German Zionist movement, which introduced him to various German Jewish intellectuals, such as Norbert Elias, Leo Löwenthal, Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin. Strauss' closest friend was Jacob Klein but he also was intellectually engaged with Karl Löwith, Gerhard Krüger, Julius Guttman, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Franz Rosenzweig (to whom Strauss dedicated his first book), Gershom Scholem, Alexander Altmann, and the Arabist Paul Kraus, who married Strauss' sister Bettina (Strauss and his wife later adopted their child when both parents died in the Middle East). With several of these friends, Strauss carried on vigorous epistolary exchanges later in life, many of which are published in the Gesammelte Schriften (Collected Writings), some in translation from the German. Strauss had also been engaged in a discourse with Carl Schmitt, who was instrumental in Strauss' receiving a Rockefeller Fellowship. However, when Strauss left Germany, he broke off this discourse when Schmitt failed to answer his letters.

In 1931 Strauss sought his post-doctoral (Habilitation) with the theologian Paul Tillich, but was turned down. After receiving a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1932, Strauss left his position at the Academy of Jewish Research in Berlin for Paris. He returned to Germany only once, for a few short days 20 years later. In Paris he married Marie (Miriam) Bernsohn, a widow with a young child whom he had known previously in Germany. He adopted his wife's son, Thomas, and later his sister's children; he and Miriam had no biological children of their own. At his death he was survived by Thomas, his sister's daughter Jenny Strauss Clay, and three grandchildren. Strauss became a lifelong friend of Alexandre Kojève and was on friendly terms with Raymond Aron, Alexandre Koyré, and Etienne Gilson. Because of the Nazis' rise to power, he chose not to return to his native country. Strauss found shelter, after some vicissitudes, in England, where in 1935 he gained temporary employment at University of Cambridge. While in England, he became a close friend of R. H. Tawney.

[edit] Later years

The University of Chicago, the school with which Strauss is most closely associated.

Unable to find permanent employment in England, Strauss moved in 1937 to the United States, under the patronage of Harold Laski, who bestowed upon Strauss a brief lectureship. After a short stint as Research Fellow in the Department of History at Columbia University, Strauss secured a position at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where, between 1938 and 1948, he eked out a hand-to-mouth living on the political science faculty. In 1939, he served for a short term as a visiting professor at Hamilton College. He became a U.S. citizen in 1944, and in 1949 he became a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, where he received, for the first time in his life, a good wage. In 1954 he met Löwith and Gadamer in Heidelberg and delivered a public speech on Socrates. Strauss held the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professorship in Chicago until 1969. He had received a call for a temporary lectureship in Hamburg in 1965 (which he declined for health reasons) and received and accepted an honorary doctorate from Hamburg University and the Bundesverdienstkreuz (German Order of Merit) via the German representative in Chicago. In 1969 Strauss moved to Claremont McKenna College (formerly Claremont Men's College) in California for a year, and then to St. John's College, Annapolis in 1970, where he was the Scott Buchanan Distinguished Scholar in Residence until his death from pneumonia in 1973.

[edit] Philosophy

For Strauss, politics and philosophy were necessarily intertwined. He regarded the trial and death of Socrates as the moment when political philosophy came into existence. Strauss considered one of the most important moments in the history of philosophy Socrates' argument that philosophers could not study nature without considering their own human nature, which, in the words of Aristotle, is that of "a political animal."[2].

Strauss distinguished "scholars" from "great thinkers", identifying himself as a scholar. He wrote that most self-described philosophers are in actuality scholars, cautious and methodical. Great thinkers, in contrast, boldly and creatively address big problems. Scholars deal with these problems only indirectly by reasoning about the great thinkers' differences.[3]

In Natural Right and History Strauss begins with a critique of Max Weber's epistomology, briefly engages the relativism of Martin Heidegger (who goes unnamed), and continues with a discussion of the evolution of natural rights via an analysis of the thought of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. He concludes by critiquing Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Edmund Burke. At the heart of the book are excerpts from Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. Much of his philosophy is a reaction to the works of Heidegger. Indeed, Strauss wrote that Heidegger's thinking must be understood and confronted before any complete formulation of modern political theory is possible. For Strauss, Plato could match Heidegger[citation needed].

Strauss wrote that Freidrich Nietzsche was the first philosopher to properly understand relativism, an idea grounded in a general acceptance of Hegelian historicism. Heidegger, in Strauss' view, sanitized and politicized Nietzsche, whereas Nietzsche believed "our own principles, including the belief in progress, will become as relative as all earlier principles had shown themselves to be" and "the only way out seems to be...that one voluntarily choose life-giving delusion instead of deadly truth, that one fabricate a myth".[4], Heidegger believed that the tragic nihilism of Nietzsche was a "myth" guided by a defective Western conception of Being that Heidegger traced to Plato. In his published correspondence with Alexandre Kojève, Strauss wrote that Hegel was correct when he postulated that an end of history implies an end to philosophy as understood by classical political philosophy.

[edit] Strauss on reading

In 1952 Strauss published Persecution and the Art of Writing, which advanced the argument that some philosophers write esoterically in order to avoid persecution by political or religious authorities. Stemming from his study of Maimonides and Al Farabi, and then extended to his reading of Plato (he mentions particularly the discussion of writing in the Phaedrus), Strauss proposed that an esoteric text was the proper type for philosophic learning. Rather than simply outlining the philosopher's thoughts, the esoteric text forces readers to do their own thinking and learning. As Socrates says in the Phaedrus, writing does not respond when questioned, but invites a dialogue with the reader, thereby reducing the problems of the written word. One political danger Strauss pointed to was students' too quickly accepting dangerous ideas. This was perhaps also relevant in the trial of Socrates, where his relationship with Alcibiades was used against him.

Persecution and the Art of Writing.

Ultimately, Strauss believed that philosophers offered both an "exoteric" or salutary teaching and an "esoteric" or true teaching, which was concealed from the general reader. For maintaining this distinction, Strauss is often accused of having written esoterically himself. Moreover he also emphasized that writers often left contradictions and other excuses to encourage the more careful examination of the writing.

[edit] Strauss on politics

According to Strauss, modern social science is flawed because it assumes the fact-value distinction. Strauss doubted the fact-value distinction, and he studied the development of the concept from its roots in Enlightenment philosophy to Max Weber, a thinker who Strauss described as a "serious and noble mind.” Weber wanted to separate values from science but, according to Strauss, was really a derivative thinker, deeply influenced by Nietzsche’s relativism.[5] Strauss treated politics as something that could not be studied from afar. A political scientist examining politics with a value-free scientific eye, for Strauss, was self-deluded. Positivism, the heir to both Auguste Comte and Max Weber in the quest to make purportedly value-free judgments, failed to justify its own existence, which would require a value judgment.

While modern liberalism had stressed the pursuit of individual liberty as its highest goal, Strauss felt that there should be a greater interest in the problem of human excellence and political virtue. Through his writings, Strauss constantly raised the question of how, and to what extent, freedom and excellence can coexist. Strauss refused to make do with any simplistic or one-sided resolutions of the Socratic question: What is the good for the city and man?

[edit] Liberalism and nihilism

Strauss taught that liberalism in its modern form contained within it an intrinsic tendency towards extreme relativism, which in turn led to two types of nihilism[6] The first was a “brutal” nihilism, expressed in Nazi and Marxist regimes. In On Tyranny, he wrote that these ideologies, both descendants of Enlightenment thought, tried to destroy all traditions, history, ethics, and moral standards and replace them by force under which nature and mankind are subjugated and conquered.[7] The second type – the "gentle" nihilism expressed in Western liberal democracies – was a kind of value-free aimlessness and a hedonistic "permissive egalitarianism", which he saw as permeating the fabric of contemporary American society.[8][9] In the belief that 20th century relativism, scientism, historicism, and nihilism were all implicated in the deterioration of modern society and philosophy, Strauss sought to uncover the philosophical pathways that had led to this situation. The resultant study led him to advocate a tentative return to classical political philosophy as a starting point for judging political action.[10]

[edit] Noble lies and deadly truths

Strauss noted that thinkers of the first rank, going back to Plato, had raised the problem of whether good politicians could be completely truthful and still achieve the necessary ends of their society. In The City and Man, Strauss discusses the myths outlined in Plato's Republic that are required for all governments. These include a belief that the state's land belongs to it even though it was likely acquired illegitimately and that citizenship is rooted in something more than the accidents of birth. Seymour Hersh observes that Strauss endorsed "noble lies": myths used by political leaders seeking to maintain a cohesive society.[11][12]

According to Strauss, Karl Popper's The Open Society and Its Enemies had mistaken the city-in-speech described in Plato's Republic for a blueprint for regime reform. Strauss quotes Cicero, "The Republic does not bring to light the best possible regime but rather the nature of political things – the nature of the city."[13] Strauss argued that the city-in-speech was unnatural, precisely because "it is rendered possible by the abstraction from eros".[14] The city-in-speech abstracted from eros, or bodily needs, and therefore could never guide politics in the manner Popper claimed. Though skeptical of "progress", Strauss was equally skeptical about political agendas of "return" (which is the term he used in contrast to progress). In fact, he was consistently suspicious of anything claiming to be a solution to an old political or philosophical problem. He spoke of the danger in trying to finally resolve the debate between rationalism and traditionalism in politics. In particular, along with many in the pre-World War II German Right, he feared people trying to force a world state to come into being in the future, thinking that it would inevitably become a tyranny.

[edit] Ancients and Moderns

Strauss constantly stressed the importance of two dichotomies in political philosophy: Athens and Jerusalem (Reason vs. Revelation) and Ancient versus Modern political philosophy. The "Ancients" were the Socratic philosophers and their intellectual heirs, and the "Moderns" start with Niccolò Machiavelli. The contrast between Ancients and Moderns was understood to be related to the unresolvable tension between Reason and Revelation. The Socratics, reacting to the first Greek philosophers, brought philosophy back to earth, and hence back to the marketplace, making it more political. The Moderns reacted to the dominance of revelation in medieval society by promoting the possibilities of Reason very strongly. In particular, Thomas Hobbes, under the influence of Francis Bacon, re-oriented political thought to what was most solid but most low in man, setting a precedent for John Locke and the later economic approach to political thought, such as, initially, in David Hume and Adam Smith.

[edit] Strauss and Zionism

Strauss is known to have been a political Zionist, at least when young. He maintained a sympathy and interest in the movement, although he came to refer to it as "problematic".

When he was 17, as he said, he was "converted" to political Zionism, pure and simple, as a follower of Vladimir Jabotinsky. He served several years in the activities of the German Zionist youth movement, writing several essays pertaining to its controversies.[15]

He taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for 1954–55 academic year. In his letter to National Review editor, Strauss asked why is Israel called a racist state in an article in that journal? He argues that author did not provide enough proof for his argument. He ends up his essay with the following statement[16]:

Political Zionism is problematic for obvious reasons. But I can never forget what it achieved as a moral force in an era of complete dissolution. It helped to stem the tide of "progressive" leveling of venerable, ancestral differences; it fulfilled a conservative function.

[edit] Religious belief

Although Strauss espoused the utility of religious belief, there is some question about his views on its truth.[17] In some quarters the opinion has been that, whatever his views on the utility of religion, he was personally an atheist. [18] Strauss, however, was openly disdainful of atheism, as he made apparent in his writings on Max Weber. He especially disapproved of contemporary dogmatic disbelief, which he considered intemperate and irrational and felt that one should either be "the philosopher open to the challenge of theology or the theologian open to the challenge of philosophy." [19] One interpretation is that Strauss, in the interplay of Jerusalem and Athens, or revelation and reason, sought, as did Thomas Aquinas, to hold revelation to the rigours of reason, but where Aquinas saw an amicable interplay, Strauss saw two impregnable fortresses. [20] Werner Dannhauser, in analyzing Strauss' letters, writes, "It will not do to simply think of Strauss as a godless, a secular, a lukewarm Jew."[21] As one commenter put it:

Strauss was not himself an orthodox believer, neither was he a convinced atheist. Since whether or not to accept a purported divine revelation is itself one of the “permanent” questions, orthodoxy must always remain an option equally as defensible as unbelief.[22]

[edit] Critical views of Strauss

Critics of Strauss accuse him of being elitist, illiberalist and anti-democratic. Shadia Drury, in Leo Strauss and the American Right (1999), argues that Strauss inculcated an elitist strain in American political leaders linked to imperialist militarism and Christian fundamentalism. Drury argues that Strauss teaches that "perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them." Nicholas Xenos similarly argues that Strauss was "an anti-democrat in a fundamental sense, a true reactionary. Strauss was somebody who wanted to go back to a previous, pre-liberal, pre-bourgeois era of blood and guts, of imperial domination, of authoritarian rule, of pure fascism."[23] As evidence, Xenos cites Strauss' attempt in 1933 to gain favor with Charles Maurras, the leader of the right-wing Action Française, as well as a letter Strauss wrote to his friend Karl Löwith in 1933 in which he defended the politics of the political right against the Nazis. Strauss wrote that "just because Germany has turned to the right and has expelled us (Jews), it simply does not follow that the principles of the right are therefore to be rejected. To the contrary, only on the basis of principles of the right – fascist, authoritarian, imperial – is it possible in a dignified manner, without the ridiculous and pitiful appeal to ‘the inalienable rights of man’ to protest against the mean nonentity (Nazism)."[23] [Emphasis in original, parentheticals added for context and meaning]

Strauss is also criticized by paleoconservatives. According to Claes Ryn, the "new Jacobinism" of the neoconservative philosophy is not "new, it is the rhetoric of Saint-Just and Trotsky that the philosophically impoverished American Right has taken over with mindless alacrity. Republican operators and think tanks apparently believe they can carry the electorate by appealing to yesterday’s leftist clichés.[24][25]

In his 2006 book review of Reading Leo Strauss, by Steven B. Smith, Robert Alter points out that Smith "persuasively sets the record straight on Strauss's political views and on what his writing is really about."[26] Smith questions the link between Strauss and neoconservative thought, arguing that Strauss was never personally active in politics, never endorsed imperialism, and questioned the utility of political philosophy for the practice of politics. In particular, Strauss argued that Plato's myth of the philosopher-kings should be read as a reductio ad absurdum, and that philosophers should understand politics, not in order to influence policy, except insofar as they can ensure philosophy's autonomy from politics.[27]

Additionally, Mark Lilla has argued that the attribution to Strauss of neoconservative views contradicts a careful reading of Strauss' actual texts, in particular On Tyranny. Lilla summarizes Strauss as follows:

Philosophy must always be aware of the dangers of tyranny, as a threat to both political decency and the philosophical life. It must understand enough about politics to defend its own autonomy, without falling into the error of thinking that philosophy can shape the political world according to its own lights.[28]

[edit] Media Representation of Strauss

In 2004, the British film-maker Adam Curtis produced a three-part documentary for the BBC on the threat from organised terrorism called the Power of Nightmares[29].

This television documentary claimed that Strauss' teachings, among others, influenced neoconservative and thus, United States foreign policy, especially following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The documentary claims that Paul Wolfowitz, Francis Fukuyama, William Kristol and others had studied the ideas of Strauss, and were inspired by his critique of the weakness of liberal society in their development of the nonconservative movement[30].

The documentary claimed that under the influence of Strauss the neoconservatives, with the alliance of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney deliberately created myths of "good and evil" in which America had the destiny to save the world from evil. These myths were specifically claimed to include the propagation of "simplistic fiction", counter to CIA intelligence, portraying first the Soviet Union and later terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, appear to be better organized and coordinated, as well as more threatening than they actually were, and that such "nightmares" enabled the neoconservatives to gain disproportionate power over the American polity during the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.

[edit] Notable students

Strauss is controversial not only for his political views but also because some of his students and their followers are themselves controversial public figures.[31]

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Joachim Lüders and Ariane Wehner, Mittelhessen – eine Heimat für Juden? Das Schicksal der Familie Strauss aus Kirchhain (Central Hesse – a Homeland for Jews? The Fate of the Strauss Family from Kirchhain) 1989
  2. ^ "From these things it is evident, that the city belongs among the things that exist by nature, and that man is by nature a political animal" (Aristotle, The Politics, 1253a1–3).
  3. ^ Leo Strauss, "An Introduction to Heideggerian Existentialism", 27–46 in The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism, ed. Thomas L. Pangle (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1989) 29–30.
  4. ^ Leo Strauss, "Relativism", 13–26 in The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism, ed. Thomas L. Pangle, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press) 25.
  5. ^ Allan Bloom, "Leo Strauss" 235–55 in Giants and Dwarfs: Essays 1960–1990 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990) 238–39.
  6. ^ Thomas L. Pangle, "Epilogue", 907–38 in History of Political Philosophy, ed. Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, 3rd ed. (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1987) 907–8.
  7. ^ Leo Strauss, On Tyranny (New York: Free Press, 1991) 22–23, 178.
  8. ^ Leo Strauss, "The Crisis of Our Time", 41–54 in Howard Spaeth, ed., The Predicament of Modern Politics (Detroit: U of Detroit P, 1964) 47–48.
  9. ^ Leo Strauss, "What Is Political Philosophy?" 9–55 in Leo Strauss, What Is Political Philosophy? and Other Studies (Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1959) 18–19.
  10. ^ Leo Strauss, The City and Man (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1964) 10–11.
  11. ^ a b Seymour M. Hersh, "Selective Intelligence", The New Yorker, May 12, 2003, accessed June 1, 2007.
  12. ^ Brian Doherty, "Origin of the Specious: Why Do Neoconservatives Doubt Darwin?", Reason Online, July 1997, accessed February 16, 2007.
  13. ^ Leo Strauss, "Plato", 33–89 in History of Political Philosophy, ed. Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, 3rd ed. (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1987) 68.
  14. ^ Leo Strauss, "Plato", 33–89 in History of Political Philosophy, ed. Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, 3rd ed. (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1987) 60.
  15. ^ Green, K. H. (editor), Strauss, L., Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity : Essays and Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought, 1997, State University of New York Press, p. 3
  16. ^ Green, K. H. (editor), Strauss, L., Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity : Essays and Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought, 1997, State University of New York Press, pp. 413–4
  17. ^ Dannhauser, Werner J. Leo Strauss in His Letters in Enlightening revolutions: Essays in Honor of Ralph Lerner, edited by Svetozar Minkov and Stephane Douard, pp. 359–360 (2007 Lexington Books)
  18. ^ Dannhauser, Werner J. Leo Strauss in His Letters in Enlightening revolutions: Essays in Honor of Ralph Lerner, edited by Svetozar Minkov and Stephane Douard, p.360 (2007 Lexington Books)
  19. ^ Deutsch, Kenneth L. and Walter Nicgorski Leo Strauss: Political Philosopher and Jewish Thinker pp. 11–12, 1994 Rowman & Littlefield
  20. ^ Schall S.J., James V. A Latitude for Statesmanship: Strauss on St. Thomas in Leo Strauss: Political Philosopher and Jewish Thinker, ed. Kenneth L. Deutsch and Walter Nicgorski, pp. 212–215, 1994 Rowman & Littlefield
  21. ^ Dannhauser, Werner J. Leo Strauss in His Letters in Enlightening revolutions: Essays in Honor of Ralph Lerner, edited by Svetozar Minkov and Stephane Douard, p.360 (2007 Lexington Books)
  22. ^ Feser, Edward, "Leo Strauss 101" (a review of Steven B. Smith's Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism), National Review Online, May 22, 2006.
  23. ^ a b Nicholas Xenos, "Leo Strauss and the Rhetoric of the War on Terror," Logosjournal.com
  24. ^ Paul Gottfried, "Strauss and the Straussians", LewRockwell.com, April 17, 2006, accessed February 16, 2007.
  25. ^ Cf. Paul Gottfried, "Paul Gottfried: Archives", Lewrockwell.com, accessed February 16, 2007.
  26. ^ Robert Alter, "Neocon or Not?", The New York Times Book Review, June 25, 2006, accessed February 16, 2007, citing Steven B. Smith, Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2006).
  27. ^ Steven B. Smith, excerpt from "Why Strauss, Why Now?", 1–15 in Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2006), online posting, press,uchicago.edu, accessed June 1, 2007.
  28. ^ Mark Lilla, The Reckless Mind (New York: NY Review of Books, 2001) 133.
  29. ^ "Transcript: The Power of Nightmares—Part 1". DaanSpeak.com. http://www.daanspeak.com/TranscriptPowerOfNightmares1.html. Retrieved on 2007-06-20. 
  30. ^ http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2798679275960015727#19m45s
  31. ^ D.L. Levine, "Without Malice but with Forethought: A Response to Burnyeat," The Review of Politics (Special Issue on the Thought of Leo Strauss) 53, no. 1 (Winter 1991): 200–18.
  32. ^ http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/lpbr/subpages/reviews/jaffa.html

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Publications by Leo Strauss

Books and articles
  • Gesammelte Schriften. Ed. Heinrich Meier. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1996–. Three vols. published to date: Vol. 1, Die Religionskritik Spinozas und zugehörige Schriften (rev. ed. 2001); vol. 2, Philosophie und Gesetz, Frühe Schriften (1997); Vol. 3, Hobbes' politische Wissenschaft und zugehörige Schrifte – Briefe (2001). The full series will also include Vol. 4, Politische Philosophie. Studien zum theologisch-politischen Problem (2009); Vol. 5, Über Tyrannis (2010); and Vol. 6, Gedanken über Machiavelli. Deutsche Erstübersetzung (2011).
  • Leo Strauss: The Early Writings (1921–1932). (Trans. from parts of Gesammelte Schriften). Trans. Michael Zank. Albany: SUNY Press, 2002.
  • La Critique de la réligion chez Hobbes: une contribution à la compréhension des Lumières (1933–34). Trans. Corine Pelluchon. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2005. (French trans. of an unpublished and unfinished manuscript by Leo Strauss of a book on Hobbes, written in 1933–1934, and first published in the Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 3.)
  • Die Religionskritik Spinozas als Grundlage seiner Bibelwissenschaft: Untersuchungen zu Spinozas Theologisch-politischen Traktat. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1930.
    • Spinoza’s Critique of Religion. (English trans. by Elsa M. Sinclair of Die Religionskritik Spinozas, 1930.) With a new English preface and a trans. of Strauss's 1932 German essay on Carl Schmitt. New York: Schocken, 1965. Reissued without that essay, Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1997.
  • "Anmerkungen zu Carl Schmitt, Der Begriff des Politischen". Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik 67, no. 6 (August–September 1932): 732–49.
    • "Comments on Carl Schmitt's Begriff des Politischen". (English trans. by Elsa M. Sinclair of "Anmerkungen zu Carl Schmitt", 1932.) 331–51 in Spinoza's Critique of Religion, 1965. Reprinted in Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, ed. and trans. George Schwab. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers U Press, 1976.
    • "Notes on Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political". (English trans. by J. Harvey Lomax of "Anmerkungen zu Carl Schmitt", 1932.) In Heinrich Meier, Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue, trans. J. Harvey Lomax. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995. Reprinted in Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, ed. and trans. George Schwab. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1996, 2007.
  • Philosophie und Gesetz: Beiträge zum Verständnis Maimunis und seiner Vorläufer. Berlin: Schocken, 1935.
    • Philosophy and Law: Essays Toward the Understanding of Maimonides and His Predecessors. (English trans. by Fred Baumann of Philosophie und Gesetz, 1935.) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1987.
    • Philosophy and Law: Contributions to the Understanding of Maimonides and His Predecessors. (English trans. with introd. by Eve Adler of Philosophie und Gesetz, 1935.) Albany: SUNY Press, 1995.
  • The Political Philosophy of Hobbes: Its Basis and Its Genesis. (English trans. by Elsa M. Sinclair from German manuscript.) Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936. Reissued with new preface, Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1952.
    • Hobbes' politische Wissenschaft in ihrer Genesis. (1935 German original of The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, 1936.) Neuwied am Rhein: Hermann Luchterhand, 1965.
  • "The Spirit of Sparta or the Taste of Xenophon". Social Research 6, no. 4 (Winter 1939): 502–36.
  • "On a New Interpretation of Plato’s Political Philosophy". Social Research 13, no. 3 (Fall 1946): 326–67.
  • "On the Intention of Rousseau". Social Research 14, no. 4 (Winter 1947): 455–87.
  • On Tyranny: An Interpretation of Xenophon's Hiero. Foreword by Alvin Johnson. New York: Political Science Classics, 1948. Reissued Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1950.
    • De la tyrannie. (French trans. of On Tyranny, 1948, with "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero" and Alexandre Kojève's "Tyranny and Wisdom".) Paris: Librairie Gallimard, 1954.
    • On Tyranny. (English edition of De la tyrannie, 1954.) Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1963.
    • On Tyranny. (Revised and expanded edition of On Tyranny, 1963.) Includes Strauss–Kojève correspondence. Ed. Victor Gourevitch and Michael S. Roth. New York: The Free Press, 1991.
  • "On Collingwood’s Philosophy of History". Review of Metaphysics 5, no. 4 (June 1952): 559–86.
  • Persecution and the Art of Writing. Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1952. Reissued Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1988.
  • Natural Right and History. (Based on the 1949 Walgrene lectures.) Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1953. Reprinted with new preface, 1971. ISBN 978-0-226-77694-1.
  • Thoughts on Machiavelli. Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1958. Reissued Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1978.
  • What Is Political Philosophy? and Other Studies. Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1959. Reissued Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1988.
  • On Plato's Symposium [1959]. Ed. Seth Benardete. (Edited transcript of 1959 lectures.) Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2001.
  • " 'Relativism' ". 135–57 in Helmut Schoeck and James W. Wiggins, eds., Relativism and the Study of Man. Princeton: D. Van Nostrand, 1961. Partial reprint, 13–26 in The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism, 1989.
  • History of Political Philosophy. Co-editor with Joseph Cropsey. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1963 (1st ed.), 1972 (2nd ed.), 1987 (3rd ed.).
  • "The Crisis of Our Time", 41–54, and "The Crisis of Political Philosophy", 91–103, in Howard Spaeth, ed., The Predicament of Modern Politics. Detroit: U of Detroit P, 1964.
    • "Political Philosophy and the Crisis of Our Time". (Adaptation of the two essays in Howard Spaeth, ed., The Predicament of Modern Politics, 1964.) 217–42 in George J. Graham, Jr., and George W. Carey, eds., The Post-Behavioral Era: Perspectives on Political Science. New York: David McKay, 1972.
  • The City and Man. (Based on the 1962 Page-Barbour lectures.) Chicago: Rand McNally, 1964.
  • Socrates and Aristophanes. New York: Basic Books, 1966. Reissued Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1980.
  • Liberalism Ancient and Modern. New York: Basic Books, 1968. Reissued with foreword by Allan Bloom, 1989. Reissued Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995.
  • Xenophon's Socratic Discourse: An Interpretation of the Oeconomicus. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1970.
  • Xenophon's Socrates. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1972.
  • The Argument and the Action of Plato's Laws. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1975.
  • Political Philosophy: Six Essays by Leo Strauss. Ed. Hilail Gilden. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.
    • An Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ten Essays by Leo Strauss. (Expanded version of Political Philosophy: Six Essays by Leo Strauss, 1975.) Ed. Hilail Gilden. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1989.
  • Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy. Introd. by Thomas L. Pangle. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1983.
  • The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: An Introduction to the Thought of Leo Strauss – Essays and Lectures by Leo Strauss. Ed. Thomas L. Pangle. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1989.
  • Faith and Political Philosophy: the Correspondence Between Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, 1934–1964. Ed. Peter Emberley and Barry Cooper. Introd. by Thomas L. Pangle. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State UP, 1993.
Writings about Maimonides and Jewish philosophy
  • Spinoza's Critique of Religion (see above, 1930).
  • Philosophy and Law (see above, 1935).
  • "Quelques remarques sur la science politique de Maïmonide et de Farabi". Revue des Etudes juives 100 (1936): 1–37.
  • "Der Ort der Vorsehungslehre nach der Ansicht Maimunis". Monatschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums 81 (1936): 448–56.
  • "How to Study Medieval Philosophy" [1944]. Interpretation 23, no. 3 (Spring 1996): 319–338. Previously published, less annotations and fifth paragraph, as "How to Begin to Study Medieval Philosophy" in Pangle (ed.), The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism, 1989 (see above).
  • "The Literary Character of The Guide for the Perplexed" (1941). 38–94 in Persecution and the Art of Writing. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1952.
  • "Maimonides' Statement on Political Science". Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 22 (1953): 115–30.
  • "On the Interpretation of Genesis" [1957]. L'Homme 21, n° 1: (janvier–mars 1981): 5–20. Reprinted 359–76 in Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity, 1997 (see below).
  • "How to Begin to Study The Guide of the Perplexed". In The Guide of the Perplexed, Volume One. Trans. Shlomo Pines. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1963.
  • Notes on Maimonides' Book of Knowledge. 269–83 in Studies in Mysticism and Religion Presented to G. G. Scholem. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1967.
  • Maïmonide. Ed. Rémi Brague. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1988.
  • Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity: Essays and Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought. Ed. Kenneth Hart Green. Albany: SUNY P, 1997.

[edit] Works about Leo Strauss

  • "A Giving of Accounts". In Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity – Essays and Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought. Ed. Kenneth H. Green. Albany: SUNY Press, 1997.
  • Benardete, Seth. Encounters and Reflections: Conversations with Seth Benardete. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2002.
  • Bloom, Allan. "Leo Strauss". 235–55 in Giants and Dwarfs: Essays 1960–1990. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.
  • Bluhm, Harald. Die Ordnung der Ordnung : das politische Philosophieren von Leo Strauss. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2002.
  • Brague, Rémi. "Leo Strauss and Maimonides". 93–114 in Leo Strauss's Thought. Ed. Alan Udoff. Boulder: Lynne Reiner, 1991.
  • Brittain, Christopher Craig. "Leo Strauss and Resourceful Odysseus: Rhetorical Violence and the Holy Middle". Canadian Review of American Studies 38, no. 1 (2008): 147–63.
  • Bruell, Christopher. "A Return to Classical Political Philosophy and the Understanding of the American Founding". Review of Politics 53, no. 1 (Winter 1991): 173–86.
  • Deutsch, Kenneth L. and John A. Murley, eds. Leo Strauss, the Straussians, and the American Regime. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999. ISBN 978-0-8476-8692-6.
  • Drury, Shadia B. Leo Strauss and the American Right. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1999.
  • ———. The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988.
  • Gourevitch, Victor. "Philosophy and Politics I–II". Review of Metaphysics 22, nos. 1–2 (September–December 1968): 58–84, 281–328.
  • Green, Kenneth. Jew and Philosopher – The Return to Maimonides in the Jewish Thought of Leo Strauss. Albany: SUNY Press, 1993.
  • Holmes, Stephen. The Anatomy of Antiliberalism. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1996. ISBN 978-0-674-03185-2.
  • Ivry, Alfred L. "Leo Strauss on Maimonides". 75–91 in Leo Strauss’s Thought. Ed. Alan Udoff. Boulder: Lynne Reiner, 1991.
  • Janssens, David. Between Athens and Jerusalem. Philosophy, Prophecy, and Politics in Leo Strauss's Early Thought. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008.
  • Kinzel, Till. Platonische Kulturkritik in Amerika. Studien zu Allan Blooms The Closing of the American Mind. Berlin: Duncker und Humblot, 2002.
  • Kochin, Michael S. "Morality, Nature, and Esotericism in Leo Strauss’s Persecution and the Art of Writing". Review of Politics 64, no. 2 (Spring 2002): 261–83.
  • Lampert, Laurence. Leo Strauss and Nietzsche. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1996.
  • Macpherson, C. B. "Hobbes’s Bourgeois Man". In Democratic Theory: Essays in Retrieval. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972.
  • McAllister, Ted V. Revolt Against Modernity : Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin & the Search for Postliberal Order. Lawrence, KS: UP of Kansas. 1996.
  • McWilliams, Wilson Carey. "Leo Strauss and the Dignity of American Political Thought". Review of Politics 60, no. 2 (Spring 1998): 231–46.
  • Meier, Heinrich. Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue, Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995.
  • ———. "Editor's Introduction[s]". Gesammelte Schriften. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1996–. 3 vols.
  • ———. Leo Strauss and the Theologico-Political Problem. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006.
  • ———. How Strauss Became Strauss". 363–82 in Enlightening Revolutions: Essays in Honor of Ralph Lerner. Ed. Svetozar Minkov. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006.
  • Melzer, Arthur. "Esotericism and the Critique of Historicism". American Political Science Review 100 (2006): 279–95.
  • Minowitz, Peter. "Machiavellianism Come of Age? Leo Strauss on Modernity and Economics". The Political Science Reviewer 22 (1993): 157–97.
  • Momigliano, Arnaldo. "Hermeneutics and Classical Political Thought in Leo Strauss", 178–89 in Essays on Ancient and Modern Judaism. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1994.
  • Neumann, Harry. Liberalism. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic P, 1991.
  • Norton, Anne. Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire. New Haven & London: Yale UP, 2004.
  • Pangle, Thomas L. "The Epistolary Dialogue Between Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin". Review of Politics 53, no. 1 (Winter 1991): 100–25.
  • ———. "Leo Strauss’s Perspective on Modern Politics". Perspectives on Political Science 33, no. 4 (Fall 2004): 197–203.
  • ———. Leo Strauss: An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2006.
  • Pelluchon, Corine. Leo Strauss: une autre raison d'autres Lumieres; Essai sur la crise de la rationalite contemporaine. Paris: J. Vrin, 2005.
  • Piccinini, Irene Abigail. Una guida fedele. L'influenza di Hermann Cohen sul pensiero di Leo Strauss. Torino: Trauben, 2007. ISBN 978-88-89909-317.
  • Rosen, Stanley. "Hermeneutics as Politics". 87–140 in Hermeneutics as Politics, New York: Oxford UP, 1987.
  • Sheppard, Eugene R. Leo Strauss and the Politics of Exile: The Making of a Political Philosopher. Waltham, MA: Brandeis UP, 2006. ISBN 978-1-58465-600-5.
  • Shorris, Earl. "Ignoble Liars: Leo Strauss, George Bush, and the Philosophy of Mass Deception". Harper's Magazine 308, issue 1849 (June 2004): 65–71.
  • Smith, Steven B. Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2006. ISBN 978-0-226-76402-3. (Introd: "Why Strauss, Why Now?", online posting, press.uchicago.edu.)
  • Smith, Steven B. (editor). The Cambridge Companion to Leo Strauss. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. ISBN 978-0-521-70399-4.
  • Tanguay, Daniel. Leo Strauss: une biographie intellectuelle. Paris, 2005. ISBN 978-2-253-13067-3.
  • Tarcov, Nathan. "On a Certain Critique of 'Straussianism' ". Review of Politics 53, no. 1 (Winter 1991): 3–18.
  • ———. "Philosophy and History: Tradition and Interpretation in the Work of Leo Strauss". Polity 16, no. 1 (Autumn 1983): 5–29.
  • ——— and Thomas L. Pangle, "Epilogue: Leo Strauss and the History of Political Philosophy". 907–38 in History of Political Philosophy. Ed. Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey. 3rd ed. 1963; Chicago and London, U of Chicago P, 1987.
  • West, Thomas G. "Jaffa Versus Mansfield: Does America Have a Constitutional or a "Declaration of Independence" Soul?" Perspectives on Political Science 31, no. 4 (Fall 2002): 35–46.
  • Zuckert, Catherine H. Postmodern Platos. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1996.
  • Zuckert, Catherine H., and Michael Zuckert. The Truth about Leo Strauss. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2006.

[edit] Strauss Family

  • Lüders, Joachim and Ariane Wehner. Mittelhessen – eine Heimat für Juden? Das Schicksal der Familie Strauss aus Kirchhain. Marburg: Gymnasium Philippinum, 1989. (In German; English translation: Central Hesse – a Homeland for Jews? The Fate of the Strauss Family from Kirchhain.)

[edit] External links

[edit] General resources

[edit] Scholarly articles, books, and parts of books (online)

[edit] Related journalistic commentary, other articles, and parts of books (online)

NAME Strauss, Leo
SHORT DESCRIPTION Classical philosophy specialist and father of neoconservativism
DATE OF BIRTH September 20, 1899
PLACE OF BIRTH Kirchhain, Hesse, Germany
DATE OF DEATH October 18, 1973
PLACE OF DEATH Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Personal tools