Thursday, December 31, 2009

 

Straussianism

Some scattered thoughts.

  1. Strauss is like Keynes or Nietzsche. He wrote unclearly, but was very stimulating, so people have fun interpreting him. Like Nietzsche, if not, perhaps, Keynes, he had an Attitude, not a System.
  2. Strauss was like economist Frank Knight at Chicago, someone whose teaching was hugely influential but whose writing was less important--- perhaps even mediocre.
  3. What have been the good Straussian writings? "Persecution and the Art of Writing" by Strauss himself. The Strauss and Cropsey political philosophy survey. Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, and his translation of The Republic with its essay by far the best things. The wonderfully derogatory review of Rawls---was it by Cropsey, or by Bloom? Bloom and Jaffa on Shakespeare. Paul Rahe's books. Jaffa on Lincoln is supposed to be very good, tho I haven't read it. Rhoads on regulation is first-rate-- up there with Bloom--- though I don't know that it's particularly Straussian. I don't recall anything else right now that should be on the list, though I've read other things by Strauss, Pangle, Fukuyama, and Mansfield that didn't impress me so much.

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