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Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy$
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Michael P. Zuckert and Catherine H. Zuckert

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226135731

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226135878.001.0001

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Why Strauss Is Not an Aristotelian

Why Strauss Is Not an Aristotelian

(p.144) Chapter Six Why Strauss Is Not an Aristotelian
Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy

Michael P. Zuckert

Catherine H. Zuckert

University of Chicago Press

Strauss was one of the first non-Thomists to call for a return to the ancients in the face of the twin forces of progressivism and historicism that made the idea of return seem retrograde or absurd. Since Strauss wrote, the idea of return has become more widespread. Yet he still differs from most of the others who wish to so return: Aristotle is not the central name in his concern with ancient philosophy. He has remarkably few writings devoted to Aristotle – only one on a particular Aristotelian text, the first chapter in his The City and Man. This chapter looks at Strauss’s writing on Aristotle and his related writings on political science (Essays on the Scientific Study of Politics), where he recommends an Aristotelian political science. Strauss describes Aristotle as the originator of political science, as compared to Socrates, the founder of political philosophy.

Keywords:   Leo Strauss, Aristotle, The City and Man, political science, political philosophy, Socrates, Essays on the Scientific Study of Politics

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