05 April 2007

Politics

I've been asked a couple of times why this blog isn't all that concerned with, hmm, politics, or rather what we think of as politics - that is current events. I guess that's a fair question given the title of this blog, so it of course deserves a fair answer.

I've become enamored with some aspects of the work of Leo Strauss. Not that I am a Straussian - I think a lot of what he had to offer was complete crap. However, one aspect of his thinking that I really buy into - at least for now - is his effort to differentiate between the philosopher and the partisan. Put rather crudely the philosopher is not committed to a particular political group, etc., whereas the partisan is and it seems to me that focusing on current events leads to the latter.

Why do I find any resonance in this distinction? I suppose it is because of my own blogging experiences. Being a partisan shuts out opposing viewpoints, which, even if they are not completely convincing in themselves, are likely as powerful as the views one does ascribe to. Of course I realize that there are certain weakness in the sort of thinking I'm adopting, in fact they are so easy to point out that I won't name them here. I also realize that I do not take this approach across the board - in other words I'm not going to give "equal time" to the claims of intelligent design advocates. Nevertheless, when it comes to a certain set of what one might call "big questions" partisanship seems at best inappropriate.

2 comments:

m. said...

where to start with strauss, in terms of reading?

Grotius said...

I'd suggest Steven Smith's Reading Leo Strauss and Strauss' The City and Man.

I just bought Daniel Tanquay's Leo Strauss: An Intellectual Biography but it hasn't arrived yet.