Two mates discuss philosophy, politics and intellectual history, because Ideas Matter


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'What is Political Philosophy?' by Leo Strauss Ideas Matter

"All political action has then in itself a directedness towards knowledge of the good: of the good life, or of the good society", writes Leo Strauss in his well-known essay 'What is Political Philosophy?', published in 1957. For Strauss, political philosophy is essentially normative. We do not understand political things unless we take them as phenomena which cry out to be evaluated as good or bad, just or unjust. Today's episode is a brief recapitulation of Strauss' essay, which includes his thoughts on the nature of political philosophy and the difference between classical and modern approaches to the discipline. This episode forms a nice contrast to our episode on Raymond Geuss and his approach of political realism. Do you agree with Strauss that political philosophy is always normative? Or do value-judgements also fall prey to criticism by positivists and historicists? As always, we would love to hear what you think. Contact the show on Instagram or Twitter @ideasmatterpod Please rate and share the podcast, so that more people can learn about ideas that matter!  What is Political Philosophy? By Leo Strauss: (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
  1. 'What is Political Philosophy?' by Leo Strauss
  2. What is Political Realism? Philosophy and Real Politics by Raymond Geuss
  3. A Theory of Justice by John Rawls
  4. The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche (Part Two)
  5. The Birth of Tragedy (Part One) by Friedrich Nietzsche

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Who are we?

Louis Devine

Louis is a PhD student researching political theory at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He completed his Masters degree at Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar. His interests include political and moral philosophy, intellectual history, international relations, and all things China.

Alex B.

“Alex B” is the alias of an agent – possibly a team of agents and analysts – attached to an FSB disinformation operation aimed at undermining international liberalism. The agent is an inveterate historicist and a proponent of Steppe Horde Economics (SHE).

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