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TitleToward Strauss's Intention and teaching in Natural Right and History
Author(s)Colen, J. A.
KeywordsLeo Strauss
Natural Right and History
Strauss´s Philosophical Teaching
Strauss´s Political Teaching
Strauss´s Intention
Issue dateMar-2018
PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
Abstract(s)The very character of Natural Right and History is controversial. It is obvious to any reader that the historical studies that compose Natural Right and History do not represent conventional historical scholarship. But it is also obvious to any reader that most of the book indeed comprises historical studies. To state the terms of the controversy directly, it will suffice to raise a few questions: What was Leo Strauss’s understanding of historical scholarship? And how did Strauss understand the relation between a historical study and a philosophical study? Since the philosophical study of historical thinkers implies a philosophical engagement with them, the difference between the claims that Strauss reveals his own teaching in Natural Right and History and that the book is a collection of historical studies is probably no more than a nuance—but it is an important nuance nonetheless. The short answer to this difficult question is probably as follows: according to Strauss, a historical study conducted in a nonhistoricist vein must assume, as a starting point, that it is approaching the views of an earlier author as the “true doctrine” which, so to speak, must “answer back,” that is must meet our refutations and objections. That is how we learn from a philosopher.
TypeBook part
DescriptionUncorrected proof
Publisher version
AccessRestricted access (Author)
Appears in Collections:CEPS - Publicações dos investigadores do CEPS

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