Of the many thinkers who have had difficulty making sense of Burke’s historical consciousness the most celebrated in recent decades has been Leo Strauss.
Civilization stands or falls with those who set the tone in society. Are they proper models for emulation? Do they inspire others to realize their better selves, or are they schemers manipulating others for their own benefit?
Not even dictatorial rule can be sustained without the grudging acceptance of a populace whose anxieties and other propensities incline them to submit rather than to rebel.
Power Without Limits: The Allure of Political Idealism and the Crumbling of American Constitutionalism
For the framers of the U.S. Constitution no task seemed more important than to limit and tame power.
Transcendence understood as separate from the historical world of practice leaves the transcendent empty. It invites individuals to fill the emptiness with whatever personal desires and dreams they would like.
Because of the elusiveness of Truth, Strauss is tempted to doubt the existence of universality, and he flirts with nihilism.
Careful, in-depth attention to questions of knowledge is one of the preconditions for a reinvigoration of the humanities and social sciences. In the study of man as a social and cultural being, how is knowledge obtained?
Professor Roberts and I may have not so much a fundamental philosophical disagreement as a difference of philosophical nomenclature and emphasis. Ideas in Roberts’s thinking that are still only tentatively stated could well evolve in ways that will reveal further consonance between us.
The cries of righteous indignation that I can hear show the force of ingrained habit. How could universality possibly express itself in particularity? This is surely “relativism,” “solipsism,” “historicism,” “nihilism” “situationism”! This reaction points to the need for rethinking not just morality but epistemology.
At its core, the modern moral-imaginative dynamic is a rebellion against whatever interferes with our favorite desires. It is an expression of a great self-indulgence.
Moral nihilism and relativism seem not t...
The American academy has been abuzz in recent years with a need to identify and get rid of "foundational" thinking. There are, we are told, no suprahistorical essences, no permanent ends, no enduring identities, meanings, or truths.
The intellectual power, originality and...
It should also be stated that, needless to say, the socalled conservative movement has had many admirable features. Some of its members resisted the trends that brought it to its present low point. Unfortunately, as it tries to recover, it may ignore those voices again and repeat its old mistakes.
While applauding these Babbittian ideas, I have argued in various places that Babbitt unduly discounts reason’s contribution to the search for reality.
In a non-didactic manner, the film offers a lesson that our time badly needs to learn: that all is not gold that glimmers.