This unique interpretation of Alfarabi's thought stresses the ways in which the tenth-century Arab philosopher self-consciously broke the metaphysical tradition that began with Plato. By examining Alfarabi's work as more than an extension or continuation of Greek philosophy, Colmo rethinks what medieval philosophy is and challenges almost universal assumptions about the origins of modernity.
Engaging a broad range of Platonic dialogues, this collection of essays by distinguished scholars in political theory and philosophy explores the relation of Socratic philosophizing to those activities with which it is typically opposed—such as tyranny, sophistry, poetry, and rhetoric. The essays show that the harder one tries to disentangle Socrates’ own activity from that of its apparent opposite, the more entangled they become; yet, it is only by taking this entanglement seriously that the distinctive character of Socratic philosophy emerges. (...) The collection sheds new light on the ways in which Plato not only represents philosophy in relation to what it is not, but also makes it “strange” to itself. (shrink)
Responding to volatile criticisms frequently leveled at Leo Strauss and those he influenced, the prominent contributors to this volume demonstrate the profound influence that Strauss and his students have exerted on American liberal democracy and contemporary political thought. By stressing the enduring vitality of classic books and by articulating the theoretical and practical flaws of relativism and historicism, the contributors argue that Strauss and the Straussians have identified fundamental crises of modernity and liberal democracy.