On Tyranny

Author: Leo Strauss
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022603352X
Size: 45.44 MB
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On Tyranny is Leo Strauss’s classic reading of Xenophon’s dialogue Hiero, or Tyrannicus, in which the tyrant Hiero and the poet Simonides discuss the advantages and disadvantages of exercising tyranny. Included are a translation of the dialogue from its original Greek, a critique of Strauss’s commentary by the French philosopher Alexandre Kojève, and the complete correspondence between the two. This revised and expanded edition introduces important corrections throughout and expands Strauss’s restatement of his position in light of Kojève’s commentary to bring it into conformity with the text as it was originally published in France.

On Tyranny

Author: Leo Strauss
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226776873
Size: 22.53 MB
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On Tyranny is Leo Strauss's classic reading of Xenophon's dialogue, Hiero or Tyrannicus, in which the tyrant Hiero and the poet Simonides discuss the advantages and disadvantages of exercising tyranny. This edition includes a translation of the dialogue, a critique of the commentary by the French philosopher Alexandre Kojève, Strauss's restatement of his position in light of Kojève's comments, and finally, the complete Strauss-Kojève correspondence. "Through [Strauss's] interpretation Xenophon appears to us as no longer the somewhat dull and flat author we know, but as a brilliant and subtle writer, an original and profound thinker. What is more, in interpreting this forgotten dialogue, Strauss lays bare great moral and political problems that are still ours." —Alexandre Kojève, Critique "On Tyranny is a complex and stimulating book with its 'parallel dialogue' made all the more striking since both participants take such unusual, highly provocative positions, and so force readers to face substantial problems in what are often wholly unfamiliar, even shocking ways." —Robert Pippin, History and Theory "Every political scientist who tries to disentangle himself from the contemporary confusion over the problems of tyranny will be much indebted to this study and inevitably use it as a starting point."—Eric Voegelin, The Review of Politics Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.

Tyranny

Author: Waller Randy Newell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107010322
Size: 18.39 MB
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This is the first comprehensive exploration of ancient and modern tyranny in the history of political thought. Waller R. Newell argues that modern tyranny and statecraft differ fundamentally from the classical understanding. Newell demonstrates a historical shift in emphasis from the classical thinkers' stress on the virtuous character of rulers and the need for civic education to the modern emphasis on impersonal institutions and cold-blooded political method. The turning point is Machiavelli's call for the conquest of nature. Newell traces the lines of influence from Machiavelli's new science of politics to the rise of Atlanticist republicanism in England and America, as well as the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century and their effects on the present. By diagnosing the varieties of tyranny from erotic voluptuaries like Nero, the steely determination of reforming conquerors like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar and modernizing despots such as Napoleon and Ataturk to the collectivist revolutions of the Jacobins, Bolsheviks, Nazis, and Khmer Rouge, Newell shows how tyranny is every bit as dangerous to free democratic societies today as it was in the past.

Philosophy History And Tyranny

Author: Timothy W. Burns
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438462115
Size: 51.45 MB
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The first comprehensive examination of the debate between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojève on the subject of philosophy and tyranny. On Tyranny remains a perennial favorite, possessing a timelessness that few philosophical or scholarly debates have ever achieved. On one hand, On Tyranny is the first book-length work in Leo Strauss’s extended study of Xenophon, and his “Restatement” retains a vivacity and directness that is sometimes absent in his later works. On the other, “Tyranny and Wisdom” is perhaps the most succinct yet fullest articulation of Alexandre Kojève’s overall political thought, and it presents what may be the most uncompromising alternative to Strauss’s position as a whole. This volume contains for the first time a comprehensive and critical examination of the debate from scholars well versed in the thought of Strauss, Kojève, Hegel, Heidegger, and the end of history thesis. Of particular interest will be the appendix, which offers for the first time Kojève’s unabridged response to Strauss, a response previously available only from the Fonds Kojève at Le Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Accessible to students and scholars alike, this volume works equally well in the classroom and as a resource for more advanced research.

Carl Schmitt And Leo Strauss

Author: Heinrich Meier
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022622175X
Size: 66.51 MB
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Carl Schmitt was the most famous and controversial defender of political theology in the twentieth century. But in his best-known work, The Concept of the Political, issued in 1927, 1932, and 1933, political considerations led him to conceal the dependence of his political theory on his faith in divine revelation. In 1932 Leo Strauss published a critical review of Concept that initiated an extremely subtle exchange between Schmitt and Strauss regarding Schmitt’s critique of liberalism. Although Schmitt never answered Strauss publicly, in the third edition of his book he changed a number of passages in response to Strauss’s criticisms. Now, in this elegant translation by J. Harvey Lomax, Heinrich Meier shows us what the remarkable dialogue between Schmitt and Strauss reveals about the development of these two seminal thinkers. Meier contends that their exchange only ostensibly revolves around liberalism. At its heart, their “hidden dialogue” explores the fundamental conflict between political theology and political philosophy, between revelation and reasonand ultimately, the vital question of how human beings ought to live their lives. “Heinrich Meier’s treatment of Schmitt’s writings is morally analytical without moralizing, a remarkable feat in view of Schmitt’s past. He wishes to understand what Schmitt was after rather than to dismiss him out of hand or bowdlerize his thoughts for contemporary political purposes.”—Mark Lilla, New York Review of Books

How Philosophy Became Socratic

Author: Laurence Lampert
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226470970
Size: 19.57 MB
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Plato’s dialogues show Socrates at different ages, beginning when he was about nineteen and already deeply immersed in philosophy and ending with his execution five decades later. By presenting his model philosopher across a fifty-year span of his life, Plato leads his readers to wonder: does that time period correspond to the development of Socrates’ thought? In this magisterial investigation of the evolution of Socrates’ philosophy, Laurence Lampert answers in the affirmative. The chronological route that Plato maps for us, Lampert argues, reveals the enduring record of philosophy as it gradually took the form that came to dominate the life of the mind in the West. The reader accompanies Socrates as he breaks with the century-old tradition of philosophy, turns to his own path, gradually enters into a deeper understanding of nature and human nature, and discovers the successful way to transmit his wisdom to the wider world. Focusing on the final and most prominent step in that process and offering detailed textual analysis of Plato’s Protagoras, Charmides, and Republic, How Philosophy Became Socratic charts Socrates’ gradual discovery of a proper politics to shelter and advance philosophy.

Excellence Unleashed

Author: Paul J. Rasmussen
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 073913311X
Size: 51.59 MB
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What is Machiavelli's place in the history of political thought? Did he seek to revive the civic virtues espoused by ancient Greek and Roman political theorists, or was he an intellectual rebel whose radical critique of the classical philosophic tradition made him a harbinger of the modern era? Almost every significant book on Machiavelli since the beginning of the twentieth century has addressed the question of his relation to classical thought in one form or another. Yet, there has never been a comprehensive study of the relationship between Machiavelli and Xenophon, the classical political theorist whose shrewd analysis of effective politics comes closest to Machiavelli's. Excellence Unleashedis a detailed comparison of Machiavelli and Xenophon's political philosophy, focusing on Xenophon's Education of Cyrus and Hiero or On Tyranny and Machiavelli's The Prince and Discourses on Livy. This study examines a number of major themes essential to both writers: the moral and political requirements of healthy republics; imperial expansion; the relationship between human nature, politics, and virtue; the role of religion in politics; the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate rule; and the influence of philosophy on politics. By elucidating the remarkable scope, depth, and subtlety of the debate between these two great thinkers, this book offers a fresh perspective on the philosophic and political significance of Machiavelli's proto-modern break from the classical tradition.

The Tyranny Of Writing

Author: Constanze Weth
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1474292453
Size: 65.68 MB
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This book examines the powerful role of writing in society. The invention of writing, independently at various places and times in history, always stood at the cradle of powerful civilizations. It is impossible to imagine modern life without writing. As individuals and social groups we hold high expectations of its potential for societal and personal development. Globally, huge resources have been and are being invested in promoting literacy worldwide. So what could possibly be tyrannical about writing? The title is inspired by Ferdinand de Saussure's argument against writing as an object of linguistic research and what he called la tyrannie de la lettre. His critique denounced writing as an imperfect, distorted image of speech that obscures our view of language and its structure. The chapters of the book, written by experts in language and literacy studies, go beyond this and explore tyrannical aspects of writing in society through history and around the world: from Medieval Novgorod, the European Renaissance and 19th-century France and Germany over colonial Sudan to postcolonial Sri Lanka and Senegal and present-day Hong Kong and Central China to the Netherlands and Spain. The metaphor of 'tyranny of writing' serves as a heuristic for exploring ideologies of language and literacy in culture and society and tensions and contradictions between the written and the spoken word.

Plato S Republic

Author: Stanley Rosen
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300126921
Size: 17.59 MB
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In this book a distinguished philosopher offers a comprehensive interpretation of Plato's most controversial dialogue. Treating the Republic as a unity and focusing on the dramatic form as the presentation of the argument, Stanley Rosen challenges earlier analyses of the Republic (including the ironic reading of Leo Strauss and his disciples) and argues that the key to understanding the dialogue is to grasp the author's intention in composing it, in particular whether Plato believed that the city constructed in the Republic is possible and desirable. Rosen demonstrates that the fundamental principles underlying the just city are theoretically attractive but that the attempt to enact them in practice leads to conceptual incoherence and political disaster. The Republic, says Rosen, is a vivid illustration of the irreconcilability of philosophy and political practice.

Black Earth

Author: Timothy Snyder
Publisher: Tim Duggan Books
ISBN: 1101903465
Size: 80.67 MB
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A brilliant, haunting, and profoundly original portrait of the defining tragedy of our time. In this epic history of extermination and survival, Timothy Snyder presents a new explanation of the great atrocity of the twentieth century, and reveals the risks that we face in the twenty-first. Based on new sources from eastern Europe and forgotten testimonies from Jewish survivors, Black Earth recounts the mass murder of the Jews as an event that is still close to us, more comprehensible than we would like to think, and thus all the more terrifying. The Holocaust began in a dark but accessible place, in Hitler's mind, with the thought that the elimination of Jews would restore balance to the planet and allow Germans to win the resources they desperately needed. Such a worldview could be realized only if Germany destroyed other states, so Hitler's aim was a colonial war in Europe itself. In the zones of statelessness, almost all Jews died. A few people, the righteous few, aided them, without support from institutions. Much of the new research in this book is devoted to understanding these extraordinary individuals. The almost insurmountable difficulties they faced only confirm the dangers of state destruction and ecological panic. These men and women should be emulated, but in similar circumstances few of us would do so. By overlooking the lessons of the Holocaust, Snyder concludes, we have misunderstood modernity and endangered the future. The early twenty-first century is coming to resemble the early twentieth, as growing preoccupations with food and water accompany ideological challenges to global order. Our world is closer to Hitler's than we like to admit, and saving it requires us to see the Holocaust as it was -- and ourselves as we are. Groundbreaking, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, Black Earth reveals a Holocaust that is not only history but warning.