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Strauss, Leo

SHADIA B. DRURY


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631207535.1997.x


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(1899–1973)German émigré political philosopher and historian of political thought. He studied at the Universities of Marburg and Hamburg, where he came into contact with Edmund Husserl and the young Martin H eidegger . He left Germany in 1932 for France and England. He later went to the United States, where he was professor of political science at the University of Chicago from 1949 to 1968. It is estimated that he graduated approximately 100 doctoral students. When Strauss died in 1973, eulogies poured forth. His students compared him to Socrates – he was a man to be experienced. They were enchanted, delighted, excited, captivated, confused, awestruck, mildly stunned, even dizzy. There are now second-and third-generation Straussians, as they are known in the profession. They all share the same devotion and ardent faith in the teaching of Strauss. What is the source of all this excitement? Strauss wrote some 15 books and 80 articles on the history of political thought from Socrates to N ietzsche . His best-known books are listed below. Strauss was no ordinary historian of ideas. He believed that all the wise or ancient philosophers in the West shared the same set of beliefs about man, politics, goodness, and truth. However, this was a secret wisdom, which was guarded by seven seals. Strauss was convinced that the truth was dangerous and that all wise men shared his view. As a result, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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