Title

The Esoteric Doctrine of Strauss's On Tyranny: An Appeal to the Philosopher

Publication Year

1996

Keywords

Philosophy, Strauss, On Tyranny, politics, doctrine

Disciplines

European History | Philosophy | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Following the Second World War, the United States and Britain experienced a curious influx of Continental political philosophers who took up prominent teaching posts at major universities and proceeded to publish many of the most seminal works of political philosophy written in this century. These emigre philosophers were mainly of Jewish descent, fleeing the horrors of the Nazi state which rose to power after the fall of the Weimar republic. Among their ranks such eminent figures as Herbert Marcuse, Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss and Max Horkheimer, the German emigres produced a body of scathing social critiques which were intended to warn the world of the propensity for another atrocity on the scale of the one they had just witnessed. Strauss, whose 1948 On Tyranny focuses implicitly on avoiding another Nazi terror, has recently emerged amongst these emigres and his other contemporaries as one of the most controversial philosophical figures of the twentieth century. Although a renegade thinker, Strauss has traditionally been pigeonholed as a staid conservative, full of moral outrage; a throwback to less enlightened eras past. Few, however, will question the almost unrivaled complexity of Strauss's philosophical thought. Even in the face of more 'progressive' constructs, post-modernism and the like, Strauss and his proteges have weathered the storm and become an intellectual force to be reckoned with.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Philosophy

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