Leo Strauss and the Theologico-Political Problem

Modern European Philosophy

作者: Heinrich Meier 译者:

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Leo Strauss and the Theologico-Political Problem         附录中的这篇文章弥足珍贵: Leo Strauss: The Living Issues of German Postwar Philosophy [1940] The Creighton Philosophical Club held its thirty-ninth meeting at Syracuse University, on April 27 and 28. Leo Strauss read a paper on The Living Issues of German Postwar Philosophy with special reference to Husserl's phenomenology Both the intellectual glory and the political misery of the Germans may be traced back to one and the same cause: German civilization is considerably younger than the civilization of the West. The Germans are, strictly speaking, less civilized than the English and the French, i.e., they are to a lesser degree citizens, free citizens. This is one aspect of the matter. The other aspect is that German philosophy is more apt to take a critical attitude towards civilization, towards the tradition of civilizations, than Western philosophy is. We may go so far as to say that, generally speaking, German philosophy implies. more or less radical criticism of the very idea of civilization and especially of modern civilization - a criticism disastrous in the political field, but necessary in the philosophical, in the theoretical field. For if civilization is distinguished from, and even opposed to, what was formerly called the state of nature, the process of civilization means an increasing going away from the natured condition of man, an increasing forgetting of that situation. And perhaps one must have a living knowledge, an acute recollection of that situation if one wants to know, i.e. to understand in its full meaning, the natural, the basic problems of philosophy.
The backbone of modern civilization is modern science.
German criticism of modern civilization is therefore primarily
criticism of modern science, either in the form of a limitation
of its bearing or in a still more radical form. That criticism was
expressed by the German philosophic movement of the end
of the 18th and of the beginning of the 19th century, by the
movement culminating in Hegel, in the form of the opposition
of history as the realm of freedom vs. nature as the realm of
(mathematical or mechanical) necessity, or of the opposition of
organic growth or dialectical process vs. rational construction.
This interpretation of the criticism of modern civilization
naturally was an important factor in German postwar philosophy.
But it was not characteristic of the latter. The slogan which
expressed the attitude characteristic of postwar Germany
towards modern civilization, is, not history vs. unhistorical
naturalism, or the grown vs. the made, but life or existence vs.
science, science being any purely theoretical enterprise. The
science criticized in the name of life or existence, comprises
both natural science and history. The German postwar criticism
is directed as much against Hegel and romanticism as
against Descartes. The originator of that criticism was Nietzsche
who had made it its principle to look at science from the
point of view of art, and to look at art from the point of view
of life.                索引
Criticism of modern civilization is related to a longing for
some past, for some antiquity. An English acquaintance of
mine told me that what struck him most, and what was most
incomprehensible to him, when he was talking to Germans,
was their longing for their tribal past. Now, longing for the
Teutonic past is only the most crude and unintelligent, the
most ridiculous form of a deep dissatisfaction with modern
civilization. In its most enlightened form, it is a longing for
classical antiquity, especially for Greek antiquity. In a famous
aphorism, Nietzsche has described German thought as one
great attempt to build a bridge leading back from the modern
world to the world of Greece. One has only to recall the
names of Leibniz, Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Holderlin and
Hegel to see that Nietzsche's remark is based on some evidence.
This much is certain: Nietzsche's own philosophy, the
most powerful single factor in German postwar philosophy,
is almost identical with his criticism of modern civilization in
the name of classical antiquity.
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标签: 施特劳斯 政治哲学 思想史 Meier LeoStrauss 政治神学 哲学

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