Tag Archives: historicism

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Historicizing the Historicists:
Notes on Leo Strauss’ “The Living Issues of German Postwar Philosophy,” Part 2

Max Weber

4,535 words

Part 1 here

The Intellectual Bankruptcy of the Present Age

Not only does Strauss claim that historicism is a healthy reaction to the intellectual bankruptcy of the modern world, in the next section of his essay, he also attributes this bankruptcy to non-historicist causes.

First, Strauss talks about Max Weber’s Learning and Science as Vocation. He specifically objects to Weber’s claim that reason cannot speak about the ultimate aims of life: Read more …

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Historicizing the Historicists:
Notes on Leo Strauss’ “The Living Issues of German Postwar Philosophy,” Part 1

3,215 words

Part 1 of 2 

Leo Strauss is widely known as a critic of historicism and an advocate of classical philosophy. Historicism holds that philosophical ideas are relative to culture, whereas classical philosophy aims for knowledge of nature, which is not relative to culture. But what is Strauss’s own point of view? Does he base his arguments on historicist or classical philosophical premises? Read more …

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Leo Strauss, the Conservative Revolution, & National Socialism, Part 3

3,373 words

Part 3 of 3

Editor’s Note: 

Leo Strauss

Leo Strauss

In the previous installment of this series, I examined Leo Strauss’s argument that the roots of what he called “German nihilism” — including National Socialism — were not nihilistic. Instead, it is rooted in a moral critique of the modern world. In this installment, I examine his argument that these non-nihilistic motives gave rise to nihilism because of certain contingent historical circumstances.  Read more …

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Paul Gottfried’s Leo Strauss & the Conservative Movement in America

Leo_Strauss_and_the_Conservative_Movement_in_America3,906 words

Paul Edward Gottfried
Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America: A Critical Appraisal
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012

Paul Gottfried’s admirable book on Leo Strauss is an unusual and welcome critique from the Right.

Leo Strauss (1899–1973) was a German-born Jewish political theorist who moved to the United States in 1937. Read more …

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