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The John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy

The Legacy of Leo Strauss





The theme of the John M. Olin Center's lecture series for 1993-94 is "The Legacy of Leo Strauss". Strauss (1899-1973) taught political philosophy from 1949-1967 in the Political Science Department at the University of Chicago. His many books, including Persecution and the Art of Writing, On Tyranny, Natural Right and History, Thoughts on Machiavelli, and The City and Man have had an enormous impact on the study of the history of political philosophy, provoked intense controversy, and influenced studies in Classics, Jewish studies, and literature, as well as other fields. He is known for his critiques of value-free social science and of what he termed historicism, the view that human thought is essentially historical or limited to particular times and places, and his attempt to re-open the issues between ancient and modern political philosophy, his distinction between the esoteric and exoteric teachings of certain philosophical works, and his lifelong meditation on the tension between reason and revelation.

Lecture Series Schedule

October 27

Leo Strauss on Plato
Seth Benardete

November 3

A Word Fitly Spoken: Leo Strauss' Interpretation of Maimonides
Hillel Fradkin

November 10

Leo Strauss & the Dignity of American Political Thought
Wilson C. McWilliams

January 12

Destruktion or Recovery? Leo Strauss' Critique of Heidegger
Steven Smith

March 3

The Alleged Nietzscheanism of Leo Strauss
Peter Berkowitz

April 20

Strauss and "Straussianism": From Ancient to Modern Liberalism?
Robert Devigne

May 4

Strauss on the "Natural" in "Classical Natural Right"
Victor Gourevitch

May 11

Strauss' Legacy for Eastern Europe
Gaspar Tamás

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Revised: January 2nd, 2000