This critical study of the influential political theorist dispels popular myths and reveals the inner logic of his varied and notoriously complex writings.
Political theorist Leo Strauss was unexpectedly thrust into the media spotlight for his alleged influence on neoconservative politics. With The Truth about Leo Strauss, Michael and Catherine Zuckert challenged the many claims and speculations about this complex thinker. Now, with Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy, they offer a more comprehensive interpretation of Strauss’s thought, using the many manifestations of the “problem of political philosophy” as their touchstone.
Strauss, they argue, sought to restore political philosophy to its original Socratic form.
This is demonstrated through his critique of positivism and historicism, two intellectual currents that undermined his Socratic project. The authors also explore Strauss’s interpretation of both ancient and modern political philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Locke. Finally, they examine Strauss’s thought in the context of the twentieth century, when his chief interlocutors were Schmitt, Husserl, Heidegger, and Nietzsche.
Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy is the most in-depth treatment of this often misunderstood thinker, examining his ideas across his long career. It reveals Strauss’s overall intellectual project: to decode how ancient and modern theory attempted to solve the problem of political philosophy. And it shows why Strauss considered the ancient solution both philosophically and politically superior.