References and Further Reading 1. Although his family was of comfortable means, his youth was twice marked by tragedy.
He traced its roots in Enlightenment philosophy to Max Webera thinker whom Strauss described as a "serious and noble mind. A political scientist examining politics with a value-free scientific eye, for Strauss, was self-deluded.
Positivismthe heir to both Auguste Comte and Max Weber in the quest to make purportedly value-free judgments, failed to justify its own existence, which would require a value judgment. Through his writings, Strauss constantly raised the question of how, and to what extent, freedom and excellence can coexist.
Strauss refused to make do with any simplistic or one-sided resolutions of the Socratic question: What is the good for the city and man? Schmitt, who would later become, for a short time, the chief jurist of Nazi Germany, was one of the first important German academics to review Strauss's early work positively.
Schmitt's positive reference for, and approval of, Strauss's work on Hobbes was C.b. macpherson democratic theory essays in retrieval in winning Strauss the scholarship funding that allowed him to leave Germany.
Writing to Schmitt inStrauss summarised Schmitt's political theology that "because man is by nature evil, he therefore needs dominion. But dominion can be established, that is, men can be unified only in a unity against—against other men.
Every association of men is necessarily a separation from other men For Strauss, Schmitt and his return to Thomas Hobbes helpfully clarified the nature of our political existence and our modern self-understanding.
Schmitt's position was therefore symptomatic of the modern liberal self-understanding. Strauss believed that such an analysis, as in Hobbes's time, served as a useful "preparatory action", revealing our contemporary orientation towards the eternal problems of politics social existence.
However, Strauss believed that Schmitt's reification of our modern self-understanding of the problem of politics into a political theology was not an adequate solution.
Strauss instead advocated a return to a broader classical understanding of human nature and a tentative return to political philosophy, in the tradition of the ancient philosophers.
They had first met as students in Berlin. The two thinkers shared a boundless philosophical respect for each other. He argued that philosophers should have an active role in shaping political events. Strauss, on the contrary, believed that philosophers should play a role in politics only to the extent that they can ensure that philosophy, which he saw as mankind's highest activity, can be free from political intervention.
In On Tyranny, he wrote that these ideologiesboth descendants of Enlightenment thought, tried to destroy all traditions, history, ethics, and moral standards and replace them by force under which nature and mankind are subjugated and conquered.
The resultant study led him to advocate a tentative return to classical political philosophy as a starting point for judging political action. In fact, he was consistently suspicious of anything claiming to be a solution to an old political or philosophical problem.
He spoke of the danger in trying finally to resolve the debate between rationalism and traditionalism in politics. He agreed with a letter of response to his request of Eric Voegelin to look into the issue.
In the response, Voegelin wrote that studying Popper's views was a waste of precious time, and "an annoyance". Popper is philosophically so uncultured, so fully a primitive ideological brawler, that he is not able even approximately to reproduce correctly the contents of one page of Plato.
Reading is of no use to him; he is too lacking in knowledge to understand what the author says. Strauss proceeded to show this letter to Kurt Riezler who used his influence in order to oppose Popper's appointment at the University of Chicago. The contrast between Ancients and Moderns was understood to be related to the unresolvable tension between Reason and Revelation.MacPherson was once an internationally-acclaimed thinker.
He won much praise in Canada and abroad for his books. "The Real World of Democracy" is a short, dated book, full of irrelevancies and preposterous logic.
Social Contract Theory. Social contract theory, nearly as old as philosophy itself, is the view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live. This seminal work by political philosopher C.B.
Macpherson was first published by the Clarendon Press in , and remains of key importance to the study of liberal-democratic theory half-a-century later.
Abstract. This work analyzes the perspective of the German theoretician of law and politics Carl Schmitt () about one of the fundamental subjects of the political philosophy during the 20th century: democracy and its foundation. John Rawls (—) John Rawls was arguably the most important political philosopher of the twentieth century.
He wrote a series of highly influential articles in the s and ’60s that helped refocus Anglo-American moral and political philosophy on substantive problems about what we ought to do.
John Rawls (—) John Rawls was arguably the most important political philosopher of the twentieth century. He wrote a series of highly influential articles in the s and ’60s that helped refocus Anglo-American moral and political philosophy on substantive problems about what we ought to do.