Idealistic Studies

Volume 44, Issue 2/3, Summer/Fall 2014

New Directions in the Thought of Leo Strauss

Denise Schaefer
Pages 235-248

Some Thoughts on Strauss on Rousseau

Strauss faults Rousseau for an overly indeterminate view of nature, which stems from what Strauss sees as a defect in Rousseau’s understanding of the relationship between philosophy (or science) and the requirements of civil society. This article considers these issues in light of Rousseau’s broader rhetorical strategy, and explores Rousseau’s attempt to elucidate the possibility of a modern political philosophy that is distinct from science on the one hand and civic moralizing on the other.