Leo Strauss

Leo Strauss (/strs/,[31] German: [ˈleːoː ˈʃtʁaʊs];[32][33] September 20, 1899 – October 18, 1973) was a German-American political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. Born in Germany to Jewish parents, Strauss later emigrated from Germany to the United States. He spent much of his career as a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, where he taught several generations of students and published fifteen books.[34]

Leo Strauss
BornSeptember 20, 1899
DiedOctober 18, 1973(1973-10-18) (aged 74)
Annapolis, Maryland, United States
Alma materUniversity of Marburg
University of Hamburg
University of Freiburg
Columbia University
Notable work
Spouse(s)Miriam Bernsohn Strauss
AwardsOrder of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
InstitutionsHochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums
Columbia University
Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
The New School
Hamilton College
University of Chicago
Claremont McKenna College
St. John's College (Annapolis)
ThesisDas Erkenntnisproblem in der philosophischen Lehre Fr. H. Jacobis (On the Problem of Knowledge in the Philosophical Doctrine of F. H. Jacobi) (1921)
Doctoral advisorErnst Cassirer
Main interests
Notable ideas
Noetic heterogeneity
The ends of politics and philosophy as irreducible to one another
The unresolvable tension between reason and revelation
Criticism of positivism, moral relativism, historicism, and nihilism[2][6]
The distinction between esoteric and exoteric writing
Reopening the quarrel of the ancients and the moderns

Trained in the neo-Kantian tradition with Ernst Cassirer and immersed in the work of the phenomenologists Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, Strauss established his fame with path-breaking books on Spinoza and Hobbes, then with articles on Maimonides and Farabi. In the late 1930s his research focused on the rediscovery of esoteric writing, thereby a new illumination of Plato and Aristotle, retracing their interpretation through medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy, and encouraging the application of those ideas to contemporary political theory.[35]