The Strauss – Voegelin Correspondence 1934-1964

"The Strauss - Voegelin Correspondence 1934-1964," Faith and Political Philosophy, translated and edited by Perry Emberley and Barry Cooper, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993.


People like Cairns (perhaps without knowing it) arrived from the Platonic-Aristotelian concept of science–indeed, not at their position, which is not worth discussing–but at the rejection of, for example, your position.  Now, you will say that the Platonic-Aristotelian concept of science was put to rest through Christianity and the discovery of history.  I am not quite persuaded of that.  Based on the contercriticism of the Cartesian tradition, and leaving other questions aside, we can no longer adopt the thesis of Descartes and all his successors that Plato and Aristotle are fundamentally inadequate; we would have to verify this thesis more directly, by a direct critique of Plato and Aristotle.  A critique requires adequate understanding.  What about us?  The more I read the classics, the more I see how inadequate the assistance is that one has been offered, for example, from classical philology.  I short–I consider the central question [of Plato and Aristotle versus Descartes] entirely open.  I can especially not agree with you when you speak of Plato’s attempt “to create a new myth”: his effort was directed toward grounding science anew and especially the science of the soul and of the state.

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