Leo Strauss

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Leo Strauss
BornSeptember 20, 1899
DiedOctober 18, 1973(1973-10-18) (aged 74)
Alma materUniversity of Hamburg
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy

Leo Strauss (September 20, 1899 – October 18, 1973) was a German-American political philosopher and classicist who became an expert on political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later went to the United States. He spent most of his time as a teacher of political science at the University of Chicago, where he taught students and put into print 15 books.[1]

He was particularly concerned with the idea of whether freedom and excellence could go together,[2] but his ideas were criticised by Nicholas Xenos as wanting to go back to an era of fascism.[3]

He was against the idea of a world state as he thought it would lead to tyranny.[4]

Recent research has criticized his ideas in Persecution and the Art of Writing. Strauss argues that writing in a secretive way is needed to protect revolutionary ideas from the general public. But the evidence shows that most people during the time when Strauss's philosophers lived were illiterate, and only a few could understand complicated philosophical works.[5] This contradicts Strauss's hypothesis. Moreover, the complexity of language make it unnecessary to devise additional ways, as Strauss suggests, to hide messages, as language itself can have multiple interpretations. Therefore, it is important to reassess these theories based on the evidence and insights, which question Strauss's argument.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. The Leo Strauss Center website bio section
  2. Political Philosopher and Jewish Thinker, p. 3
  3. Nicholas Xenos, "Leo Strauss and the Rhetoric of the War on Terror," Logosjournal.com
  4. On Tyranny, p. 143
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bekesi, Aron B. (2019). [chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://philarchive.org/archive/BEKEPL "Esoteric philosophy: Leo Strauss and sociolinguistics"]. Science & Philosophy. 7(2): 27–50. {{cite journal}}: Check |url= value (help)