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Heidegger, Strauss, and the Premises of PhilosophyOn Original Forgetting$
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Richard L. Velkley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226852546

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226852553.001.0001

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On Caves and Histories: Strauss’s Post-Nietzschean Socratism

On Caves and Histories: Strauss’s Post-Nietzschean Socratism

(p.62) Chapter 3 On Caves and Histories: Strauss’s Post-Nietzschean Socratism
Heidegger, Strauss, and the Premises of Philosophy

Richard L. Velkley

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses Leo Strauss’ account of the roots of his inquiries in the German situation of philosophy after the First World War. Strauss acknowledges that his greatest philosophic debt is to Nietzsche and Heidegger, two thinkers associated in different ways with the then current German regime with which Strauss’ recently adopted homeland was gradually sliding into war. Strauss accords significance to Nietzsche because he called into question more powerfully than any other figure the modern beliefs in the scientific solubility of human problems and in the progressive view of civilization as a meaningful process culminating in human perfection. On the other hand, Strauss remarks that Heidegger’s teaching “made perhaps the most profound impression which the younger generation experienced in Germany” in the postwar period.

Keywords:   human problems, Leo Strauss, human perfection, Nietzsche, Heidegger, civilization

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