Some Tuesday Quotations From Leo Strauss

On historicism:

Taken by itself, this philosophic critique of philosophic and scientific thought–a continuation of the efforts of Hume and of Kant–would lead to skepticism.  But skepticism and historicism are two entirely different things.  Skepticism regards itself as, in principle, coeval with human thought; historicism regards itself as belonging to a specific historical situation…

…Historicism stems from a non-skeptical tradition–from that modern tradition which tried to define the limits of human knowledge and which therefore admitted that, within certain limits, genuine knowledge is possible.”

And on Nietzsche’s relation to historicism, having followed the logic of relativism to nihilism:

‘The theoretical analysis of life is noncommittal and fatal to commitment, but life means commitment.  To avert the danger to life, Nietzsche could choose one of two ways: he could insist on the strictly esoteric character of the theoretical analysis of life–that is restore the Platonic notion of the noble delusion–or else he could deny the possibility of theory proper. and so conceive of theory as essentially subservient to, or dependent on, life or fate.  If not Nietzsche himself, at any rate his successors adopted the second alternative.’

and a bit on Hegel:

‘Hegel had taught that every philosophy is the conceptual expressing of the spirit of its time, and yet he maintained the absolute truth of his own system of philosophy by ascribing absolute character to his own time; he assumed that his own time was the end of history and hence the absolute moment.’

Strauss, Leo.  Natural Right And History.  Chicago:  The University Of Chicago Press, 1965.

Addition:  Is the esotericism, and the choice of the ‘noble truths’ a necessary one, or a necessary choice as Strauss saw it as a path out of the dominant school as he found it?

Also On This Site:   A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”

Some Quotations From Leo Strauss On Edmund Burke In ‘Natural Right And History’Harry Jaffa At The Claremont Institute: ‘Leo Strauss, the Bible, and Political Philosophy’Some Criticism Of Leo Strauss Via Andrew Sullivan: ‘Who Let The Dogs Out, Ctd.”

How does Natural Law Philosophy deal with these problems, and those of knowledge?

Does Kant lead to a liberal political philosophy?: From JSTOR: Excerpt From “Rousseau, Kant, And History” By George Armstrong KellyVia The University Of British Colombia: Kant-Summary Of Essential PointsFrom Bryan Magee’s Talking Philosophy On Youtube: Geoffrey Warnock On KantSunday Quotation: From Jonathan Bennett On Kant

Here’s Nietzsche scholar J.P. Stern on Nietzsche’s anti-Christian, anti-secular morality (Kant, utilitarians), anti-democratic, and anti-Greek (except the “heroic” Greek) biases…Hilary Putnam On The Philosophy Of Science:  Bryan Magee’s Talking Philosophy On YouTube

Add to Technorati Favorites