Leo Strauss’s _The Political Philosophy of Hobbes_ deservedly ranks among his most widely acclaimed works. In it Strauss argues that the basis for Hobbes’s natural and political science is his interest in “self-knowledge of man as he really is.” The writings collected in this book, each written prior to that classic volume, complement that account. Thus at long last, this book allows us to have a complete picture of Strauss’s interpretation of Hobbes, the thinker pivotal to the fundamental theme of (...) his life’s work: the conflicting demands of philosophy and revelation, or as he termed it, “the theologico-political problem.” It is no exaggeration to say that Strauss’s work on Hobbes’s critique of religion is essential to his analysis of Hobbes’s political philosophy, and vice versa. This volume will spark new interest in Hobbes’s explication of the Bible and in his understanding of religion by revealing previously neglected dimensions and motives of Hobbes’s “theology.” At the same time, scholars interested in the intellectual development of Leo Strauss will find in these writings the missing link, as it were, between his two early books,_ __Spinoza’s Critique of Religion_ and _The Political Philosophy of Hobbes_. In addition, this volume makes available for the first time in English a letter, a book outline, an extended review, an engagement with legal positivism, and an account of Strauss’s work on Hobbes by Heinrich Meier, all of which shed light on Strauss’s concerns and his approach to Hobbes in particular, as well as to modern political thought and life. (shrink)
Natural Right and History is widely recognized as Strauss’s most influential work. The six lectures, written while Strauss was at the New School, and a full transcript of the 1949 Walgreen Lectures show Strauss working toward the ideas he would present in fully matured form in his landmark work. In them, he explores natural right and the relationship between modern philosophers and the thought of the ancient Greek philosophers, as well as the relation of political philosophy to contemporary political science (...) and to major political and historical events, especially the Holocaust and World War II. Previously unpublished in book form, Strauss’s lectures are presented here in a thematic order that mirrors Natural Right and History and with interpretive essays by J. A. Colen, Christopher Lynch, Svetozar Minkov, Daniel Tanguay, Nathan Tarcov, and Michael Zuckert that establish their relation to the work. Rounding out the book are copious annotations and notes to facilitate further study. (shrink)
Francis Bacon's "Inquiry Touching Human Nature" is an engagement at a fundamental level with the political and philosophic thought of one of the founders of modernity, Francis Bacon. Bacon had a comprehensive vision of the human situation. And because he saw the costs or dangers of modern life as clearly as he predicted its achievements and boons, Bacon is a thinker who addresses directly and deeply our own perplexities.
Political philosophy and natural science -- Political and psychological preconditions to recovering Socratic science -- The rediscovery of Socratic dialectic: Strauss on Schmitt's concept of the political 2. the fundamental political predicament: Strauss on Plato's laws, book III -- The origin and nature of philosophy -- The natural frame of reference and the possibility of a comprehensive science -- Natural right and history (ch. III) on the origin and nature of philosophy -- Divine revelation and the possibility of science -- (...) Strauss's introduction to Platonic studies in modern times -- Philosophy and revelation -- The foundations and directions of modern philosophy and science -- Science and politics in Strauss's natural right course -- An irony beyond Machiavelli's irony: a reading of the concluding six paragraphs of thoughts on Machiavelli. (shrink)
Ranging from ancient Greek thought to contemporary quantum mechanics, Mastery of Nature investigates to what extent nature can be conquered to further human ends and to what extent such mastery is compatible with human flourishing.
As many readers of Locke Studies are aware, the long-awaited publication of a scholarly edition of Locke’s published Abrégé and the transcription of an English “Epitome” of An Essay concerning Human Understanding (Essay) should be published in the near future. Both of these documents are tantalizing for aiding in the interpretation of the Essay because they are the author’s own efforts to clarify the argument and design of his great work prior to publication. This short note briefly summarizes the evidence (...) for the superiority of the “Epitome” over the Abrégé and suggests several ways in which a clearer understanding of these documents could contribute to a more accurate reading of the Essay. (shrink)