05 April 2007


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.


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.