Discussion Of Leo Strauss On Classical Political Philosophy

Decent Essays

Published in 1959 amongst a collection of other essays on political philosophy, the topics of “What is Political Philosophy” and “On Classical Political Philosophy” are Leo Strauss articulations on of the problem of political philosophy. Although the two texts are indeed separate entities, the ideas shared between the two form a cohesive statement when viewed holistically. Establishing that political philosophy still has meaning and relevance, Strauss displays that there is a clear difference that must be recognized between works of classical and modern political philosophy. At the core of his argument is the tenant that political philosophy’s subject is humankind’s greatest objectives in political life, differing from classic to modern only in how direct the relationship is. Having presented this difference, Strauss eruditely gives a nuanced case for a forgotten superiority of classical philosophy in Western thought, given the meaningful role that he holds still exists for it. When examining these works for the former, the reader must be cognizant of the fact that Strauss rarely makes his arguments to that end explicit in the text. Rather, Strauss’ essays themselves embody a …show more content…

Strauss states that the difference between the two is that “…the latter is no longer concerned at all with the guiding question for the former: the question of the best political order.” This statement is important for two reasons. Firstly, it begs the question that if modern political philosophy is not guided by a search for the best political order, what is its aim? Indeed, the quest for the best political order was a key component of general political philosophy to begin with. Secondly, it establishes classical political philosophy as the stalwart, “true” school approach to political philosophy. This will be elaborated on as classical political philosophy is

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