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On Plato's Symposium The first major piece of unpublished work by Leo Strauss to appear in than thirty years, this volume offers the public the unprecedented experience of encountering this renowned scholar as his students did Given as a course in autumnunder the title Plato s Political Philosophy, these provocative lectures until now, never published, but instead passed down from one generation of students to the next show Strauss at his subtle and insightful best

  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • On Plato's Symposium
  • Leo Strauss
  • English
  • 10 June 2018
  • 0226776867

About the Author: Leo Strauss

Leo Strauss was a German American philosopher and philologist of ancient Greek text In his early years studying in Germany he acquainted himself with seminal German thinkers of the 20th century such as Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl and Ernst Cassirer As a person of Jewish ancestry, Strauss fled to the United States during the rule of Third Reich and taught at the University of Chicago There, he wrote commentaries on ancient Greek thought of Plato and Aristotle, as well as the medieval philosophy of Maimonides and Islamic philosophers, and expounded his thought on political philosophy His legacy remains in the realm of political theories to this day.



10 thoughts on “On Plato's Symposium

  1. says:

    This book was my introduction to Leo Strauss, picked up on a whim at a used book shop in Seattle s University District I was immediately struck by the depth of knowledge Strauss brought to his analysis speaking of Athenian topics in strictly Athenian terms, with critical attention to the details of Athenian history and what we know of Athenian religious, political, and social practices This was a most refreshing change from most contemporary analysis of the Symposium, which seeks to contextu This book was my introduction to Leo Strauss, picked up on a whim at a used book shop in Seattle s University District I was immediately struck by the depth of knowledge Strauss brought to his analysis speaking of Athenian topics in strictly Athenian terms, with critical attention to the details of Athenian history and what we know of Athenian religious, political, and social practices This was a most refreshing change from most contemporary analysis of the Symposium, which seeks to contextualize the dialogue within late 20th century history and late 20th century religious, political, and social practices.Highly recommended to all who seek wisdom without softness

  2. says:

    Two practical tips for potentially provocative either mentally or emotionally writers as a starter 1 Hide your references and chop off your quotes if necessary.Through him Rousseau they teach men to love after the fashion of philosophers that is, they teach to men, to Frenchmen, a love without gallantry a love without anything of that fine flower of youthfulness and gentility, which places it, if not among the virtues, among the ornaments of life Instead of this passion, naturally allied Two practical tips for potentially provocative either mentally or emotionally writers as a starter 1 Hide your references and chop off your quotes if necessary.Through him Rousseau they teach men to love after the fashion of philosophers that is, they teach to men, to Frenchmen, a love without gallantry a love without anything of that fine flower of youthfulness and gentility, which places it, if not among the virtues, among the ornaments of life Instead of this passion, naturally allied to grace and manners, they infuse into their youth an unfashioned, indelicate, sour, gloomy, ferocious medley of pedantry and lewdness of metaphysical speculations, blended with the coarsest sensuality.I have bolded the text Leo Strauss quoted in his lecture when he commented on some modern day medical treatment of eros p.115 The peculiar thing is that Strauss didn t give a reference for this quote, despite the fact that he could be extremely precise when it comes to citations Another peculiar thing is that Strauss didn t give the context of this comment, except one hint that it s from Burke he didn t even pronounce the whole name of Edmund Burke From the lecture alone one could not tell who Burke was criticizing, unless one is already familiar with Burke beforehand.Interestingly enough, at the end of this lecture p.118 he made the target of this criticism clear Who are the specialists regarding eros today The psychoanalysts During lecture, as Leo Strauss himself has confessed, one could not ask the lecturer could you repeat what you have said So it s a safe way of giving all the threads to the audience, whilst giving them the choice to piece them up or not.Putting together all these bits and pieces and it gives rise to a rather harsh criticism on psychoanalysis It s true, nevertheless, but it is too much for one to swallow if it were presented in a naked, head on manner This I take to be an example Leo Strauss demonstrated to psychoanalysts how to write sedately, how to filter your audiences and reveal the suitable contents to suitable minds It s a well demonstrated one.2 Navigate your stream of thoughts by posing right questions.This intricate acrobat of philosophizing with literature critique becomes transparent in this book At first glance one would say that Strauss was faithful to the text His interpretation of the text seems somehow magical paying enough attention to the reality of ancient Greece while presenting extraordinary conclusions coming out of nowhere But the unspoken story is that Strauss smuggled many Nietzschean topics into his lecture, by simply bringing up the right otherwise known as Nietzschean topic and posing the right questions.The point where this trick becomes most apparent is Strauss s interpretation on Aristophanes Aristophanes told a story of hermaphrodites in the text From the Jungian point of view, the standing out feature is the longing for completeness, the longing of returning to the primitive, perfect state Strauss took a rather interesting, or realistic turn when he was interpreting but the other half of man might be long dead because their skin was peeled off, and, consequently, all eros in this respect is miserable I m not quite sure if this is the right mentality when it comes to interpreting myths One Hundred Years of Solitude, for example, was filled with this kind of please ignore the common sense for now plots But the goal of such a not so satisfying interpretation is bringing out the topic of comedy v.s tragedy , and the hubris character of eros This trick worked.Naturally, one critique I could say about Straussian reading is that it eliminated the difference of ancient psyche and modern psyche the interpretation of Aristophanes is quite illustrative The ancients think pretty differently from us they could somehow come up with so many zodiac legends, a bunch of which were so vividly described in Ovid s Metamorphosis while the modern people could only see dots of starlights Boy, ain t them imaginative.I guess aprudent way of characterizing this book would be what Plato managed to conjure up in Leo Strauss s mind Leo Strauss is amazingly discreet and sophisticated when it comes to differentiating the details, while, at the same time, keeping the big picture in mind His differentiations are, however, not purely for differentiation s sake They wereor less guided by the absent counterpart of this lecture Nietzsche Without this intention of putting Nietzsche and Plato to dialogue, his differentiations would degenerate to nothing but categorizing and nitpicking, which anyone could get a mouthful in any ordinary philosophy class It s a subtle difference, but well worth appreciating

  3. says:

    1 21 2

  4. says:

    I read half of it

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