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What is Political Philosophy?

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  136 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
"All political action has . . . in itself a directedness towards knowledge of the good: of the good life, or of the good society. For the good society is the complete political good. If this directedness becomes explicit, if men make it their explicit goal to acquire knowledge of the good life and of the good society, political philosophy emerges. . . . The theme of politi ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published October 15th 1988 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 1st 1957)
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Joe
Jan 03, 2011 Joe rated it it was amazing
Review:

February 2006

The enticing ambiguities of Leo Strauss

For an author who is most often despised, and occasionally revered, one is surprised on how little consensus there is on what Leo Strauss actually thought. In this brief review I would like to give the prospective reader a little taste of the great enigma that is Leo Strauss.

The difficulty is this, in reading Leo Strauss one always gets the feeling that one is either on the edge of a rather large insight or the target of an elaborate, b
...more
Yann
Jun 27, 2012 Yann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Érasme m'a appris cet adage que les anciens employaient dans les mêmes situations où nous disons " tu prêches un convaincu" : ils disaient "tu pousses un coureur". C'est ce que m'inspire la lecture de cet ensemble d'essais relatifs à la philosophie politique écrits il y a soixante ans par Léo Strauss, un allemand émigré aux États-Unis. En effet, le point commun de ces écrits est un appel à la lecture des auteurs classiques, comme Platon, Aristote, Cicéron, Maïmonide, Fârâbî, Machiavel, Hobbes, L ...more
Jacob Stubbs
So, the two essays I read in this book were both good. The first of which (the eponymous "What is Political Philosophy") is a very Heideggerian polemic against the current state of political science. Strauss does a very good job of polemicizing the problems of separating theory from science. The three waves theory was interesting, but seemed to lose weight as it continued to move forward (you can also see this with the amount of time he spends on every respective wave).

The second essay I read w
...more
Alan Johnson
The Goodreads listing for the 1959 hardcover edition of this work incorrectly lists the author as "Laura Strauss." The author was, of course, Leo Strauss.

I purchased this 1959 edition on May 27, 1967 at the University of Chicago bookstore. I read most of it during the late 1960s and early 1970s. I have recently read or reread some of the essays. It is an excellent account of Strauss's approach to political philosophy.
Pedro José
This book is excellent for anyone interested both in an introduction to political thought as well as some insight into deeper questions. Thus, not all the essays in this volume are equally accessible to someone without any previous knowledge of political theory. The first one, which gives its name to the book, and the second ("Political Philosophy and History") are absolutely worth it.
Rutger
Aug 19, 2012 Rutger rated it it was amazing
Somewhat more obscure essays than in 'The Return of Classical Political Rationalism', but just as illuminating.
Riley Haas
Dec 14, 2016 Riley Haas rated it liked it
I did not write a review when I read this. But I am the furthest thing from a Straussian.
Sam Snideman
Mar 27, 2009 Sam Snideman rated it liked it
Shelves: graduate-school
The most confusing political theory book I've ever read in my life. Straussians are weird people.
Marts  (Thinker)
Jul 01, 2011 Marts (Thinker) marked it as sounds-interesting
Strauss presents a collection of essays, lectures, and reviews examining the theme of political philosophy, and varied aspects of political and human life...
Erik
Nov 12, 2009 Erik marked it as to-read
Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Intro to Part 2, as one of Four Beginning, Though Difficult, Books by Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin.
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Leo Strauss was a German-American philosopher and philologist of ancient Greek text. In his early years studying in Germany he acquainted himself with seminal German thinkers of the 20th century such as Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl and Ernst Cassirer. As a person of Jewish ancestry, Strauss fled to the United States during the rule of Third Reich and taught at the University of Chicago. There, ...more
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