Leo Strauss’s writings point the way to a radical recovery of the full meaning of philosophy in the West. He wrote interpretations of works by a wide range of figures, including not only Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Marsilius of Padua, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Nietzsche, Weber, and Carl Schmitt, but also the Bible, Aristophanes, Xenophon, Lucretius, Al-Farabi, Judah Halevi, Maimonides, Lessing, Moses Mendelssohn, Herman Cohen, and Heidegger. He is widely known for defending natural right, especially in its classical form, against the challenges of relativism and historicism, reopening the quarrel between the ancients and the moderns in political philosophy, emphasizing philosophy as a way of life, sharply criticizing value-free social science, stressing the centrality of the theological-political problem, and distinguishing between the exoteric and esoteric teachings of writers of the past.
Students will investigate these themes through one of Strauss’s major works, Natural Right and History and in his pathbreaking essay, “What is Political Philosophy?”. In addition to seminars, students will enjoy the opportunity to explore Austin through various events and activities.
Participants must be:
Travel Stipend: All participants who reside outside of the greater Austin region will receive a $300 travel stipend to help defray the costs of travel.
Tuition & Expenses: Due to the generous support of our donors, tuition is free. Accommodations will be provided for participants living outside Austin, TX. Meals are also provided to all participants. All other expenses, including the purchase of books, are the responsibility of participants.
Austin, TX. January 2-7, 2024.
Lunch Talk: Greg McBrayer, Ashland University (Political Science), “Weber & Strauss: The Theologico-Political Problem and the Sociology of Religion”
Lunch Talk: Alex Priou, UC-Boulder (Herbst Program), “Strauss on Plato’s Symposium”
Lunch Talk: Daniel O’Toole, Hillsdale College (Political Science), “Strauss on the Best Regime and the Rule of Reason”
Lunch Talk: Jacob Howland, University of Austin (Provost; Dean, Intellectual Foundations), “On Strauss’s ‘Three Waves of Modernity’”
Our distinctive undergraduate curriculum will combine the rich and varied inheritance of the past with the most compelling ideas of the present to help students see things whole, form sound judgment, and translate knowing into doing and making. Students will train with the world’s leading scholars and innovators, while creating and building with purpose.
UATX prepares thoughtful and ethical innovators, builders, leaders, public servants and citizens through open inquiry and civil discourse. Our commitment to the pursuit of truth arises from our confidence that the nature of reality can be discerned, albeit incompletely, by those who seek to understand it, and from our belief that the quest to know, though unending, is an ennobling, liberating, and productive endeavor.
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