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Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy

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.

268 pages | 5.875 x 9 | © 1983

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Political Science: Classic Political Thought

Table of Contents

Foreword by Joseph Cropsey  
Introduction by Thomas L. Pangle  
1. Philosophy as Rigorous Science and Political Philosophy 
2. On Plato’s Apology of Socrates and Crito              
3. On the Euthydemus                                       
4. Preliminary Observations on the Gods in Thucydides’ Work 
5. Xenophon’s Anabasis                                 
6. On Natural Law                                   
7. Jerusalem and Athens: Some Preliminary Reflections    
8. Note on the Plan of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil   
9. Notes on Maimonides’ Book of Knowledge               
10. Note on Maimonides’ Letter on Astrology              
11. Note on Maimonides’ Treatise on the Art of Logic      
12. Niccolo Machiavelli                                   
13. Review of C. B. Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke             
14. Review of J. L. Talmon, The Nature of Jewish History—Its Universal Significance                            
15. Introductory Essay for Hermann Cohen, Religion of Reason
out of the Sources of Judaism                       
Leo Strauss, 1899-1973, a Bibliography             

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