“Every philosophy is the philosophy of its own day… thus it can find satisfaction only for the interests belonging to its own particular time,” “philosophy… is its own time grasped in thought” (Hegel)
bounded particularity is universal
a uniquely determinative objective of a philosophy adequate to our particular time
to understand philosophy as always and everywhere in principle the same quest for timeless and universal truth (Strauss)
what is always most modern is modernity’s own obsolescence, the having arrived at a non-existent destination (the time-boundedness of thought negates thought as thought, producing time)
Expressed as mere opinion, as mediocritism strongly asserted, what Strauss or any honest human being has to say about certain not-possibly-true possible truths may become effectively indistinguishable from the views of cranks, lunatics, provocateurs, and traitors. To approach such not-possibly-true possible truths at all may mean asking to be counted a Nazi, for example – or even, if not worse than as a clearer and more nearly present danger, a “neo-conservative.”
Jonathan Chait, assessing the President’s challenge in the light of weak economic numbers, in “Springtime for Romney “:
Obama’s fallback is to go back to emphasizing the fact that he has a plan that Republicans refuse to enact. In his speech today, Obama is reemphasizing the proposals that he introduced last fall.
This opens Obama up to the charge by Mitt Romney that he simply hasn’t gotten his plan passed, so it’s time to vote in somebody else. This counterattack will probably work well: Voters, and especially swing voters, have very little understanding of how divided power works, and they tend to simply attribute all results to the president.
Leo Strauss explaining the classical political-philosophical problem with “democracy”:
…[D]emocracy, or rule of the majority, is government by the uneducated. And no one in his right senses would wish to live under such a government.
What the Republicans have done is an example of the kind of challenge to self-governance that, multiplied out over the course of years, amidst waning national self-confidence and general and overwhelming skepticism regarding public institutions, would eventually, of necessity, likely prompt someone to cross the Potomac, destroying the DC Village even while intending, or pretending, to save it.
From Schopenhauer through Strauss and beyond, the rebels fail to grasp Hegel’s thought on its own terms, or, if they grasp it at all, they soon discard or conceal it. This claim may also seem like a large one, but the most ambitious and unlikely claim of all, it turns out, is not the claim of a complete or comprehensive philosophy, but the claim that the Hegelian is precluded from making: to have created a new philosophy, to have stepped philosophy beyond philosophy’s own shadow.
Posted in Books
Tagged with: Hegel
, Hermann Cohen
, Leo Strauss
John asks: If one is not actively trying to convert the other, professing good and evil, pushing revelation, is one having a political conversation? and can politics ever approximate an ideally-disinterested academic discussion, with its ways of mixing disinterested commentary…
Even a perfectly just man who wants to give advice to a tyrant has to present himself to his pupil as an utterly unscrupulous man. Leo Strauss, On Tyranny Thus, the voice of the Machiavellian – and the Sully-ite, too. …