Omitted Encounters: The early political thought of Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss
Title: Omitted Encounters: The early political thought of Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss
Author: KEEDUS, Liisi
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2010
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
It is my contention that a historically and thus philosophically accurate understanding of Arendt’s and Strauss’s projects cannot be gained without knowledge of the debates and controversies that shaped their early thought. I will also argue that it is insufficient to limit such a reconstruction to a single or few contemporary figures of influence, or even more so, to their engagement with the canon of philosophy or the 'problem of modernity'. Instead, Arendt’s and Strauss’s intellectual and political maturation took place in the broader context of a variety of overlapping contemporary conceptual fields, conventions and concerns. By reconstructing the unfolding of Arendt’s and Strauss’s scholarly and political outlook against the background of these discursive contexts, I hope to show that what are often understood as their critiques of modernity - and confronted as such, in this general sense, or used as a source of inspiration - emerged from their engagement with these particular disputes. Alongide the ways in which the conventions and concerns of their time influenced their philosophical and political sensibilities, I will also spell out their early critiques of these conventions, intellectual or political.They did not only intellectually inherit certain disciplinary traditions of discussion, but also sought to overcome what they deemed had led these astray.
LC Subject Heading: Arendt, Hannah, 1906-1975 -- Political and social views; Arendt, Hannah, 1906-1975 -- Contributions in political science; Strauss, Leo, -- Political and social views; Strauss, Leo, -- Contributions in political science
Defense date: 28/01/2010; Examining Board: Prof. Martin Van Gelderen, Supervisor, European University Institute Prof. Steven Aschheim, Hebrew University, Jerusalem Prof. Raymond Geuss, Cambridge University Prof. Bo Stråth, Helsinki University
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