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The City and Man Revised Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't like philosophical spoilers? Then stop reading this review because the following are, in my view, a few code breakers for interpreting this Straussian text. I'll keep it somewhat brief.
NOMOS: Nomos is conventional, relative truth; a fabricated, normative reality. Even when not explicitly using this word (i.e. the picture in a frame) Strauss is always talking about nomos within his tacit instruction (i.e. the frame around the picture). Through mental constructs, our perception is overlaid with the markings of cultural values, beliefs, ideals, nationalities, habits, lines of thinking, and ways of proceeding. Perception is distorted in accordance with conditioning. First there is a cognition, THEN a cognitive distortion. The `city' overwhelms `nature'. Personally, my ears perk up whenever someone uses the phrase "the real world."
NATURE: Awareness. Simple as that. Awareness precedes thought and hence can't be captured by the modality of thought and other mental phenomena. Before the advent of the city, our natural state (awareness) lies free of values and judgments -On a side note the contemplative practice of meditation may assist us in experientially seeing this. Moreover nature is the `whole', the whole phenomenal world that is. Reminiscent of eastern and Gnostic philosophies, we are the world and the world is us.Read more ›
Strauss, who was during his life an obscure professor at the University of Chicago, has recently achieved posthumous fame because a number of his alleged disciples, so-called "Straussians," were among the neoconservatives who conceived and implemented the recent disastrous American conquest of Iraq.
His writings have therefore acquired new interest because of the insight they may provide into the thinking of those who have attempted to create a new American imperium.
Strauss is renowned for his verbosity, for a bizarre numerological fixation on the ancient texts he studied, and for a belief in "esotericism" -- i.e., that the classic authors hid their real teachings in cryptic subtexts discernible only by the most probing of readers.
"The City and Man" definitely exhibits Strauss' verbosity -- it is appropriate bedtime reading only if one needs a cure for insomnia. There is, however, little evidence of Strauss' numerological fetish -- he does at one point allude to a certain numerical symmetry in the structure of Plato's "Republic" based on a two-one-two pattern in the number of Socrates' "interlocutors," but the point is of the sort that any literary critic might make.
And to the degree that Strauss attributes "esoteric" doctrines to his authors in this book, it is again such as any literary critic might suggest -- e.g., he repeatedly suggests that certain characters are intended to illustrate certain ideal types or that the presentation is structured so as to emphasize certain key themes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As another reviewer mentioned, this is perfect for curing insomnia. Strauss' style represents exactly the disconnect between academia and the rest of planet Earth: verbosity trumps... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Frank Stein
The city is the place where the Political Philosophy take there fulfill sense. It's the cavern where the philosopher must return and explain, with precaution, his Knowledge. Read morePublished on October 16, 2002 by EDUARDO SALLENT PEÑA
Leo Strauss was generally uderstood to be an originator of the scholarly opinion that Plato wrote esoterically, and Plato's dialogue on justice, "The Republic" has an... Read morePublished on July 23, 1999