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Leo Strauss, Back and Better Than Ever

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
I thought Manton would enjoy this:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...LEFTTopOpinion
post #2 of 79
Interesting read. I liked this quote:

Quote:
"He said, 'When you're teaching always assume there is a silent student in the class who knows more than you do,'" remembers Roger Masters, another former student.

Reminds me of Thomas Aquinas, aka the "Dumb Ox", whose paucity of words and surplus of intellect Strauss was certainly aware of.
post #3 of 79
zzzzzzzzzz. Thought this thread was about jeans.
post #4 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBrown85 View Post
zzzzzzzzzz. Thought this thread was about jeans.

I was going to post something about how odd I thought it was that Claude Levi-Strauss and the jeans guy had the same hyphenated last name despite being unrelated, but a quick Google search reveals that "Levi" was actually the jeans guy's first name. Learn something new every day!
post #5 of 79
I think I'll pass. Brilliant man, however.
post #6 of 79
"The center is uploading to its website written and audio recordings of Strauss's lectures, many made by graduate students in the 1950s and 60s. Eventually, students world-wide will be able to take courses by Strauss, free of charge." This is awesome
post #7 of 79
Awesome.
post #8 of 79
I am doing a paper for the APSA (this weekend!) and I have stacks of Strauss and various primary sources in a ring around my chair. Fun times!
post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I am doing a paper for the APSA (this weekend!) and I have stacks of Strauss and various primary sources in a ring around my chair. Fun times!
Thinking of you, mantonio, I searched through some boxes and found my old copy of "Teh City and Man." Right now I have it on my shelf next to Boswell's "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality." Interesting to see a Strauss resurgence, though; in recent years, Chicago seems (IMHO) to have been all Wittgenstein, all the time.
post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post
Thinking of you, mantonio, I searched through some boxes and found my old copy of "Teh City and Man." Right now I have it on my shelf next to Boswell's "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality."

Interesting to see a Strauss resurgence, though; in recent years, Chicago seems (IMHO) to have been all Wittgenstein, all the time.

Better Wittgenstein than Strauss....
post #11 of 79
W is terrible. I don't see how anyone can prefer that to Strauss. But Strauss remains a tiny minority taste and always will.
post #12 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post
Better Wittgenstein than Strauss....
Not to change the direction of the thread, but though I was initially rather hesitant about old Wittgey, reading closely the "Philosophical Investigations" was really rewarding, especially in conjunction with close readings of Bourdieu. They sort of supplement and support each other, in my opinion; Wittgenstein sort of sets up why and how habitus might work on a linguistic level. Of course, I don't really go for "comparative" readings... but just to say that I found the experience rewarding and there are many elements of the PI that I still use in my own work (passages/sections 65-70, for example)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
W is terrible. I don't see how anyone can prefer that to Strauss. But Strauss remains a tiny minority taste and always will.
I don't know how any BODY of work can be "terrible." I mean, if you find the Tractatus awful, okay. But, the whole body of work? Sometimes you're a catty queen, mantonicles. Overall, though, it would be hard to compare Strauss and Wittgenstein, in terms of the direction of their work. Wittg was opposed to any real engagement in the real world; he was a scared, antisocial ghey who never really was happy with himself, and stayed in the world of ideas where his he could transcendentalize himself out of a physical body and towards some sort of linguistic perfection. Strauss, rather, was quite engaged. It was my fault for bringing up both names, but only to show that departments and faculty, and the ideas/levels of engagement they express, change rather quickly. Nevertheless, like him or not, Wittg is probably in the grand scheme of things going to be responsible for the most important contributions to philosophy in the 20th century. I doubt it will be Foucault, Derrida, or any of the "fashionable" ones...
post #13 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
W is terrible. I don't see how anyone can prefer that to Strauss. But Strauss remains a tiny minority taste and always will.
One of my friends got his doctorate on Wittgenstein, he then went on to become a successful advertising dude (he's since reformed). I bet you hate Heidegger too since many say it goes Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger then post-structuralists (short stop via Existentialists along the way). Rach: I'm not in a place where I can have access to my books (or much philo books anyway) so what is that section about?
post #14 of 79
I find W torture to read and his whole doctrine, to the extent that it is not incomprehensible, just false and a waste of time. The great alternatives to Strauss were Heidegger and Kojeve, who are at least asking the right questions even if I don't believe their answers.
post #15 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post
One of my friends got his doctorate on Wittgenstein, he then went on to become a successful advertising dude (he's since reformed). Rach: I'm not in a place where I can have access to my books (or much philo books anyway) so what is that section about?
It's the tennis analogy... about "language games" and how they have mutually understood sets of rules, but in the margins/spaces freedoms that allow for individual differences. He mentions tennis being a rule bound game, but having no rule for how high you throw the ball when you serve, meaning that it is bound by individual applications... or, as I was reading Bourdieu at the time, I kept saying... (habituses!) Mantonio, did Wittg have a "doctrine?" He seemed rather anti-doctrinaire. One interesting thing in his biography is that after WWI, he was one of the wealthiest men in Europe, thanks to an inheritance and wise investments by Daddy. He gave EVERYTHING away and lived most of the rest of life in academia, pursuing boys who he never told he liked, and who didn't know he loved them. Poor guy. Anyway, one of the reasons of his fragmentary/bullet-point sort of style is that he never really could put things together into an organized, doctrine sort of way. I don't see why they all have to oppose each other; if anything, Wittg sets up how Strauss' ideas can be intelligible, or how the language he uses can be situated or interpreted at all. BUT, if we are only talking about the Tractatus, then I agree, it's an extreme bore. He later rejected his early work, though.
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