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Philosophy and Science

Philosophy and Science

(p.180) Chapter 9 Philosophy and Science
Encounters & Reflections
University of Chicago Press

This chapter is a conversation among three students—Michael, Ronna, and Robert—and their professor Seth Benardete at the University of Chicago about the difference between preparing for philosophy and philosophizing, and the contrast between Leo Strauss and Martin Heidegger in those terms. If Heidegger represented speculative philosophy in the twentieth century, Strauss was ostensibly in awe of it and did not approve of it at all. In a two-fold character of interpretation, there is a distinction between the thematization of something and the question of its truth, and the first is rather difficult. This is what the problem of the Sophist is in a nutshell: there is a thematization of hunting for the purpose of understanding the sophist, but there is no thematization of philosophy. Strauss realized that interpreting a Platonic dialogue is philosophizing; however, it does not mean that only by interpreting Plato could one philosophize.

Keywords:   Seth Benardete, philosophy, Leo Strauss, Martin Heidegger, Sophist, Platonic dialogue

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