Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy

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University of Chicago Press, 1985 M05 15 - 260 pages
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One of the outstanding thinkers of our time offers in this book his final words to posterity. Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy was well underway at the time of Leo Strauss's death in 1973. Having chosen the title for the book, he selected the most important writings of his later years and arranged them to clarify the issues in political philosophy that occupied his attention throughout his life.

As his choice of title indicates, the heart of Strauss's work is Platonism—a Platonism that is altogether unorthodox and highly controversial. These essays consider, among others, Heidegger, Husserl, Nietzsche, Marx, Moses Maimonides, Machiavelli, and of course Plato himself to test the Platonic understanding of the conflict between philosophy and political society. Strauss argues that an awesome spritual impoverishment has engulfed modernity because of our dimming awareness of that conflict.

Thomas Pangle's Introduction places the work within the context of the entire Straussian corpus and focuses especially on Strauss's late Socratic writings as a key to his mature thought. For those already familiar with Strauss, Pangle's essay will provoke thought and debate; for beginning readers of Strauss, it provides a fine introduction. A complete bibliography of Strauss's writings if included.

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About the author (1985)

At the time of his death, Leo Strauss was the Scott Buchanan Distinguished Scholar in Residence at St. John's College. His contributions to political philsophy include Natural Right and History, The Argument and Action of Plato's Laws, Socrates and Aristophanes, The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, The City and Man, Thoughts on Machiavelli, and, with Joseph Cropsey, History of Political Philosophy, all published by the University of Chicago Press. Thomas L. Pangle is professor of political science at the University of Toronto.

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