Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reading Leo StraussPolitics, Philosophy, Judaism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Steven B. Smith

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226764023

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226763903.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Strauss's America

Strauss's America

(p.156) Chapter Seven Strauss's America
Reading Leo Strauss
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the philosophical significance of politics in Strauss's view. The expression “political philosophy” has two distinct meanings: it can mean the philosophical examination of politics or it can mean the political treatment of philosophy. In the first case, it denotes an object of inquiry and in the second, a distinctive manner of writing or rhetoric. Strauss wrote to strengthen those aspects of American public life that would prevent constitutional democracy from devolving into mass democracy. At its most basic level, he treated the American polity as a product of modernity and the Enlightenment. In Natural Right and History, his first book to address a large audience of American social scientists, Strauss accepts the view that Locke's theory of property is at the root of the modern “spirit of capitalism.” He also acknowledges that contemporary tyranny has its source in the Machiavellian dictum that the ends justify the means.

Keywords:   Leo Strauss, political philosophy, Machiavellian dictum, Natural Right, Locke

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.