Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy
In their latest book, the Zuckert's turn their attention to a searching and more comprehensive interpretation of Strauss’s thought as a whole, using the many manifestations of the problem of political philosophy” as their touchstone. Strauss’s life work, they argue, revolved around recovering, and then restoring, political philosophy to its originalSocraticform. And, just as political philosophy has multiple meanings within Strauss’s thought, so too does the problem of political philosophy. In Part Two, they take up Strauss’s novel understanding of the history of philosophy and the thinkers who comprise it. Strauss offered unconventional readings of canonical political philosophers, both ancient and modernPlato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Locke. The chapters in the third part examine Strauss’s thought in its twentieth century context. The Zuckerts consider his debts to, and disagreements with, Husserl, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, his relationship to Carl Schmitt and his response to the theologico-political problem,” and his contention that liberal democracy is the best regime for our time. The Zuckerts conclude their analysis by highlighting some of the more controversial aspects of Strauss’s thought and offering their own reservations and unanswered questions about Strauss’s philosophic activity.