The Platonism of Leo Strauss: A Reply to Harry Jaffa

Thomas L. Pangle, Claremont Review of Books, Spring 1985.

Excerpt:

The editor has invited me to respond to Harry Jaffa’s attack in his “Legacy of Leo Strauss” (Claremont Review of Books,vol. III, no. 3, Fall 1984). I do so after considerable hesitation. My initial instinct was to follow the advice implicit in the sage words of Solomon (Proverbs 29:9). But the urging of friends whose judgment I respect, and my own second thoughts, have inclined me to the view that I cannot avoid replying-if only to defend my good name and to warn unsus¬≠pecting readers of the fallaciousness of Jaffa’s authoritative-sounding censure. The truth is, Jaffa is guilty of gross misinterpretation: For reasons known only to him and to God, he has distorted beyond recognition my interpretation of Strauss and of the political philosophizing Strauss resuscitated.

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