Download Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue by Heinrich Meier PDF

By Heinrich Meier

Carl Schmitt used to be the main recognized and debatable defender of political theology within the 20th century. yet in his best-known paintings, the concept that of the Political, issued in 1927, 1932, and 1933, political issues led him to hide the dependence of his political concept on his religion in divine revelation. In 1932 Leo Strauss released a severe overview of idea that initiated a really refined alternate among Schmitt and Strauss concerning Schmitt’s critique of liberalism. even supposing Schmitt by no means spoke back Strauss publicly, within the 3rd version of his booklet he replaced a couple of passages in accordance with Strauss’s criticisms. Now, during this dependent translation by way of J. Harvey Lomax, Heinrich Meier exhibits us what the extraordinary discussion among Schmitt and Strauss unearths concerning the improvement of those seminal thinkers.Meier contends that their trade in basic terms ostensibly revolves round liberalism. At its middle, their “hidden discussion” explores the elemental clash among political theology and political philosophy, among revelation and reason­and finally, the important query of the way people should dwell their lives. “Heinrich Meier’s remedy of Schmitt’s writings is morally analytical with no moralizing, a impressive feat in view of Schmitt’s prior. He needs to appreciate what Schmitt used to be after instead of to brush off him out of hand or bowdlerize his options for modern political purposes.”—Mark Lilla, big apple assessment of Books 

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Extra resources for Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue

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It is :1 critique that Schmitt strives for, yet does not himself bring ro a close. For the critique of liberalism that Schmitt under­ lakes is carried out and remains "in the horizon of liberal­ ism. " "His unliberal tendency" is o bstructed " by the still unvanquished ' systematics of l iberal thought' " (N35)-a systematics that, in Schmitt's own judgment, "despite all setbacks," has "still not been replaced by any other system in Europe today" (70). Put more precisely, what primarily interests Strauss in writing on the Concept of the Political is to complete the critique of liberalism.

The political, which Schmitt brings to bear as fundamental, is in Strauss's interpretation neither more nor less than the "state of nature" that the "philosophy of culture" has erased from memory. "There­ with the question about the genus within which the specific difference of the political is to be stipulated has also been answered: the political is a status of man; indeed, the politi­ cal is the status as the 'natural, ' the fundamental and ex­ treme, status of man" (Nl l ). Strauss by no means fails to appreciate that Schmitt's THE HIDDEN DIALOGUE I 33 "state o f nature" is defined "fundamentally differently" from that of Hobbes, that for Hobbes it is the "state of war of individuals, " whereas for Schmitt it is the "state of war of groups (especially of nations).

He asks about the human nature that precedes and underlies every culture. He poses the question of the status natura/is. In the course of his probing back into the hidden, disre­ garded, forgotten foundation of culture, Strauss has Schmitt bring the Hobbesian concept of the state of nature into a place of honor again: When Hobbes describes the status natura/is as the status belli simply, according to Strauss that description when translated into Schmitt's terminology means that the status natura/is is "the genuinely political status" (Nl l).

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