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Re: On Tyranny, by Leo Strauss

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:56 am
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Chicago 37, Illinois
Department of Political Science

Sept. 11, 1957

M. Alexandre Kojeve
15 Bd. Stalingrad
Vanves (Seine)

Dear Mr. Kojeve:

It was only last week that I could read your typewritten statement and your letter. I had had a minor illness, no real vacation and I'm feeling very tired. My general reaction to your statements is that we are poles apart. The root of the question is I suppose the same as it always was, that you are convinced of the truth of Hegel (Marx) and I am not. You have never given me an answer to my questions: a) was Nietzsche not right in describing the Hegelian-Marxian end as "the last man"? and b) what would you put into the place of Hegel's philosophy of nature? I am under the impression that you read Plato from your Hegelian point of view without sufficiently waiting for what would reveal itself as Plato's view by simply listening to Plato and strictly adhering to his suggestions. You take for granted that the "ideas" are "concepts" and that Plato is exclusively concerned with the "ideas" and not with the "soul". Hence you are certain that there cannot be ideas of the "sensible species". Without a previous solution of the question ''of which things are there ideas and of which things are there no ideas" there cannot be a fruitful discussion of the community of ideas. Your whole interpretation appears to me schematic and arbitrary. Apart from the dialogues you use the Aristotelian reports. The Aristotelian reports are of course most competent but they do not answer the question of how definitely or how seriously Plato asserted the things Aristotle says he asserted. (Incidentally, precisely Aristotle's report should induce one to ascribe to Plato the assertion that there are "ideas of the sensible species".) I am not satisfied that there are Platonic dialogues devoted to criticism of Aristotle and that the dialogues devoted to the criticism of Aristotle are the seven mentioned by you. In particular I regard it as impossible to divorce the Timaeus and the Critias from the Republic as you do.

I see only two points in your exposition regarding which we can at least begin to have a conversation. The two points are the Eleatic Stranger and the Critias.

I am absolutely certain that the stranger is not a parrot and that you misinterpret completely his introduction by Theodorus and Socrates' welcoming speech. On the other hand I believe that you are right in saying that there is something wrong about his assertion concerning the community of rest (ideas) and motion (non-ideas). This does not prove however that he lacks comprehension, for every Platonic dialogue is based on the deliberate disregard of something crucially important, and what is right for the Platonic Socrates is right also for the Platonic Eleatic Stranger. Briefly, the separateness of the ideas makes it impossible to understand the whole which consists of onta and gignomena; [1] it makes it impossible to understand the soul (and therefore the philosopher who can only be understood in contradistinction to the non-philosopher). In order to overcome the separateness the stranger assimilates onta and gignomena (motion and rest) and he expresses this thought most radically by defining being as acting and suffering which (acting and suffering) as far as I understand Plato cannot be said of the ideas; the stranger wrongly but not ignorantly abstracts from the radical difference between onta and gignomena. Instead of assimilating onta and gignomena one must seek for the bond between them, but the thesis of the stranger is superior to the mere chorismos-thesis <separateness-thesis> because it is based on an awareness of the fundamental inadequacy of the bare separateness thesis. I suspect that the Timaeus in its doctrine of the soul brings out the "bond" solution to the problem -- at the price of abstracting from something else of utmost importance. (What that something else is I do not yet know.) The mere fact that the Stranger is the murderer of Parmenides shows that he is not a parrot. Cf. also the Beauty of the non-corrected Eleatic thesis: "there is only the One" and the philosopher-sophist states man are three, whereas I believe the Eleatic thesis as corrected by the stranger is to the effect "the one consists of many" and "philosopher sophist-statesman" is One.

Regarding the Critias I make this suggestion: The Republic deals with the "city in speech", the Timaeus with the "cosmos in deed" and the Critias with the "city in deed": the cosmos in speech is missing ("the fourth is missing"): the promise of Hermocrates' speech conceals the not promised but required speech by Plato himself. The city in deed is necessarily inferior to the city in speech -- it is necessarily "diluted", the good is identified with the ancestral (therefore the best city in speech is necessarily Athenian; the Critias shows that the best city abounds not only in virtue but in gold as well). The city in deed must be the city in motion and motion means war. The biggest war of historical Athens was the Sicilian expedition and this was an unjust war and it ended in a defeat. The ideal war of "old Athens" must therefore be a just war (a war of defence) with a super Sicily (the biggest island in the farthest West) ending in an Athenian victory. The description of the most glorious Athenian deed cannot be given by an Athenian for reasons of propriety (see the much more limited praise of Athens given by the stranger Aspasia in the Menexenus). Now, the victory of Athens over "Sicily" has of course also a transpolitical meaning as you will be the first to admit (Hermocrates was the chief man responsible for Athens' defeat in the Sicilian expedition; Timaeus comes from southern Italy which is almost Sicily; Elea is in southern Italy; and last but not least the Cephalus of the Republic and his family stem from the same region). One must also not forget the invasion of Athens by Parmenides in the Parmenides. In brief Sicily, "the West", tries to conquer Athens but is defeated by Athens. This, if I understand you correctly, is exactly what you say, but this victory of Athens over Sicily is asserted by Critias, a somewhat dubious figure, and Plato prevents him from telling his story. It seems to me that the incomplete character of the Critias means exactly this: the victory of Athens over Sicily is a half victory and therefore also a half-defeat. You will disagree with my final conclusion but it is obvious that you can use all my other statements regarding the Critias very well for your purposes. Yet this statement could not have been arrived at except by adhering to the unambiguous Platonic suggestion that the Timaeus and Critias belong with the Republic and this proves that one must stick much more closely than you do to the obvious donnees platoniques. (Critias is a competitor of Alcibiades and Alcibiades is the instigator of the Sicilian expedition.)

I hope that you continue to be in good health. I expect to have finished my study on Machiavelli by the end of this year.




Geneva, 10.24.57.

My dear friends,

Truth to tell, I have absolutely nothing to tell you. Which is to say that regarding A<...> and myself everything is going well. I am in Geneva, where I expect to spend 5-6 weeks: Common Market meetings.

At the margins of "great politics," [1] I granted myself a most restful [2] working party, which allows me to read and write while meetings are in session: specifically this letter.

Enclosed a slip with three books. I would be most grateful if you could have them sent to me (in Vanves). I have read the Rosan book about Proclus recommended by Hering. Not very "profound," but very clear and apparently accurate. A useful book.

But it also contains the "biography" of Pr<oclus> by "Marinus"! Without commentary and taken 100% seriously. Now, in fact, and as I had assumed after reading the vita Isidori, this "Marinus" is clearly nothing but a pseudonym of my friend Damascius, and the so- called "biography" nothing but a shameless mockery of its hero. It is written in the style of the vita.

If you want to be amused, I greatly recommend that you read this "Marinus" in Rosan, Proclus (N.Y. 49). It takes up only 22 pages. But as I suspect that you will not choose to read them, I will copy a few particularly tasty passages.

III. ... Everyone of these [physical virtues] was naturally present in our blessed philosopher from birth, and their traces could be seen clearly even in that external oyster-like shell of his ... He was so beautiful that, although all his pictures are excellent, none of the painters was able completely to capture his likeness, that all remained far behind in the imitation of his true form ... [In this connection Rosin points out in a note: A portrait-bust has been found ... It is one-third broken and has a peculiarly hooked nose"].

IV. ... It is astonishing that those basic qualities of the soul, which he had spontaneously. and innately, were the same parts of virtue that Plato considered to be the elements of a philosophical character ...

IX.... He learned Aristotelian philosophy under Olympiodorus . Now Olympiodorus was known as an able speaker, but because of the ease and rapidity with which he spoke, only a few of his hearers could understand him ...

... The logical writings of Arist., which are difficult to understand for those who read them, he [Proclus] nevertheless easily learned by heart, and at a single reading ...

XIII. Within less than two years, Syrianus [one of the <...> of the Vita Isidori] read with him all the writings of Arist<otle> in logic, ethics, politics, physics and even theology. And after going through these sufficiently as if they were preparatory rites or lesser mysteries, he led him, systematically and not, as the [Chaldean] Oracle says "by enormous steps", up to the greater mysteries of Plato, and revealed their truly divine visions to the untainted eyes of his soul and the pure gaze of his mind. And Proclus, on his own part, by constant practice and attention, both day and night, and by writing down everything that was said in the form of a summary with his own opinions produced in a short time so much that by the age of 28 he has written his Comm<mentary> on the Timaeus as well as many other commentaries, all finely done and full of learning. Such an occupation improved his character even more, because he added knowledge to his moral virtues.

XIV. He also acquired the political virtues from the writings of Ar<istotle's> Polit<ics> and from the Laws and the Rep<ublic> of Plato. So that even in this no one might say he was concerned with words alone and not with deeds; since his preoccupation with higher things prevented him from taking part in political affairs himself, he persuaded the pious Archiadas to do this, by teaching him the political virtues ...

XV. Proclus showed that he possessed a Herculean courage even in politics And when his enemies, like a horde of giant vultures, tried to put him on trial [or perhaps: annoyed him excessively], he left Athens in obedience to the Revolution of the Whole, [3] and travelled to Asia. Actually this was all for the best, for his guardian Spirit really provided him with this pretext for the journey so that he might be initiated into the ancient rites that were still preserved there ... Acting and living in this fashion, he passed even more unnoticed than the Pythagoreans [Epicureans??], who firmly obeyed that command of their master to "live unnoticed" [lathe biosas]. But he spent only one [4] year in Lydia and returned to Athens by the Providence of the Goddess of philosophy. This was the manner in which Proclus gradually obtained his courage ...

XVI. ... He was an excellent judge in every field. And whenever he found someone who was not taking his own work seriously, he severely censured him. It was this that made him appear very quick-tempered and quite emulous [cf. IV...: he appeared to us as to be by nature modest ...], because he wanted and was able to judge everything correctly. He was indeed emulous, but emulous only in respect to virtue and goodness; perhaps nothing great among human beings could be done without this kind of motivation. I also admit that he was quick-tempered. Nevertheless [5] he was mild at the same time, for he calmed down easily and quickly, becoming as soft as wax within a moment; -- one minute he would be scolding someone and the next minute because of his sympathetic nature he would be helping him ...

XVII. I am glad that this sympathetic nature of his has come to my mind, for I believe that no other person can be said have been as sympathetic as he. Because he never desired a wife or children, although he had received many offers of marriage from noble and wealthy families, he was free of experience of having his own family, ...

XVIII. ... We now come to his purifying virtues which are quite different from social virtues..... But the purifying virtues are superior to these..... The philosopher Proclus practiced these purifying virtues throughout his philosophical career, ..... He always did that which was conducive to separating the soul, and whether in the night-time or daytime, he would pray against evil demons, bathe himself, and use other methods of purification, both Orphic and Chaldean, such as immersing himself in the sea resolutely every month, or even twice or three times a month. And he did all this not only in the prime of his life, but even in his later years he religiously performed these customary actions.

XX.... He was indifferent in this way not only to physical pain, but even more so to external evils, whether ordinary or extraordinary. Whenever these occurred he would always say; "that's [6] the way things are; that's the way they usually are". Which seemed to me to be a maxim that deserved to be memorized and which sufficiently proved the greatness of the philosopher's soul. As to anger, he tried to repress it as much as he could [cf. above XVI, in fine].

XXII. he arrived at higher [7] virtues ... which could no longer be called phronesis in the human sense but rather sophia or even some more reverent name. While he was absorbed with this, Proclus learned with ease all of Greek and non-Greek theology and also that truth that [8] had been hidden in the form of myths; he explained all these in a very enthusiastic manner ... He went through all the writings of previous authors and whatever he found that was fruitful he would select and combine ... In his lectures he was able to discuss each doctrine sensibly and he mentioned all of them in his writings. He had an unbounded love of work: sometimes he would teach five or more classes a day, write on the average about 700 lines of prose [Chrysippus, who was notoriously prolific, was said to write 300 lines], visit with other philosophers and then in the evening give lectures that were not based on any text; in addition to all this he would sleeplessly worship the gods every night and bow in prayer to the sun when it arose, at midday and when it set.

XXIII. Proclus himself was the originator of many previously unknown doctrines in natural, intellectual and even more divine subjects. He was the first to claim that there was a genus of souls who were able to perceive many Ideas at one time and who occupied a middle position between the Nous which knows everything at once ... and those souls who can concentrate upon only one Idea at a time. Anyone who wishes to, may learn of his many other innovations by going through his works, which I cannot do now, since it would prolong this biography too greatly to mention all of them. But whoever does read his works will agree that what I have just said is true ...

XXVI. ..... it was by means of these divine oracles that Proclus reached those highest virtues of the human soul which the inspired Iamblichus has excellently called "theurgic". For gathering the interpretations of previous philosophers together with proper judgment by a great deal of labour for five whole years [contra: "less than two years" for "all the writings of Arist<otle>." (cp. XIII above)], he brought together all the rest of the Chaldean literature and the most important commentaries on these divinely-given Oracles. In regard to this he had the following wonderful dream: the great Plutarch [Syriannus's teacher] appeared to him and foretold that he would live for as many years as there were four-page sheets in his works on the oracles; afterwards he counted these and found that there were 70. That the dream had been divine was proved by the close of his life. For [9] although he really lived, as was said before, for 75 years, during the last five years he was no longer strong. . . To be sure, he still prayed, even in this condition, composed hymns ... but he did everything in accordance with this weakened condition so that he marvelled whenever he thought of the dream and constantly said: "I have really lived for only 70 years [?!] [10]

[compare with III: ... Fourthly he had health ... And he was gifted with this virtue from infancy so highly, that he was able to say that his body had been ill only two or three times in a long life of altogether 75 (sic!) years. The final proof of this, to which I myself can testify, was that he did not even recognize in his last illness what kind of suffering had befallen him, so rarely had he experienced pain. -- compare XXXII: [11] ... He had been afraid when he was in the prime of his life that the arthritis of his father might attack him also ... And it was not without reason that he feared this, because, as I should have said before, he was indeed suffering pain of this kind.].

XXVIII.... Proclus proceeded step by step; first he was cleansed by the Chaldean purification; then he held converse, as he himself mentions in one of his works, with the luminous [!] apparitions of Hecate which he conjured up himself; then he caused rain-falls by correctly moving the wry-neckbird wheel, [12] by this means he saved Athens from a severe drought. He proposed means to prevent earthquakes; he tested the divinatory power of the tripod; and even wrote verses about his own destiny ...

XXXIII. But if I wanted to tell everything about him, such as his friendship with Pan, the son of Hermes, and the great kindness and aid which he received from this god in Athens, or if I related the good fortune that he obtained from the Mother of the Gods to whom he always prayed and in whom he greatly rejoiced, I would probably seem to some readers simply to be prattling and to others to be saying the incredible. For the many great things which this Goddess did for him and said to him almost daily were so numerous and so unusual to be written about, that I no longer remember them very clearly. But if anyone wishes to know more about his affinity with the Goddess, let him read his book on the Mother of the Gods [otherwise unknown!], for it will be seen how he reveals the whole theology of this Goddess [13] with divine inspiration and explains philosophically what is symbolically done or mythically said of her and Attis, so that no one need any longer be disturbed by hearing the seemingly absurd wails [14] and other things that are secretly said at her ceremonies. [Compare with Julian's equally ironic speech about the Mother of the Gods].

[These citations might suffice to elucidate the somewhat enigmatic meaning of the following passage from the Preface of the "Biography":]

I. ... I was afraid lest, in the words of Ibycus, I might win the esteem of men by sinning, not against the gods, as he said, but against a wise man [sc. Proclus], especially since it would not have been right that I alone of all his friends should keep silent and should not, on the contrary, make every effort to tell the truth about him, in spite of the fact that of all men I was under the greatest obligation to speak out openly. Perhaps, in fact, I might not have even won men's esteem, because they would not have attributed to modesty my refusal to undertake this task but to mental laziness or even a worse fault of soul. For all these reasons, therefore, I felt myself compelled to set forth at least some of the countless superior accomplishments of the philosopher Proclus and some of the things that have been truly reported about him.

[All in all: amicus Plato ...]

But isn't the irony unmistakable?

After you have read this letter, could you send it to Strauss in my name. I have spoken to him about Julian, Damascius, and "Sallustius." This "Marius" will complete the picture!

As ever yours,



Geneva, 11.5.57

Dear Mr. Strauss,

Please excuse that I only now answer your letter of 9.11. But various things have interfered. I am here in Geneva (GATT meeting) and will probably stay here until the end of the month.

To the issue:

I fully agree with you that a "general" discussion of Plato does not make much sense. The only really sensible thing to do would be to read the 7 dialogues together.

But for my part, the whole thing did not in any way arise from preconceived "general" views. On the contrary, rather by accident, I came across some passages from the Sophist that seemed to me "senseless" or sounded "ironic." Thereupon I read the other 6 dialogues, in which I found many similar passages. All this then led to a comprehensive interpretation that in itself made sense and, in my opinion, is also historically possible (but very much astonished me!). In my first (long) letter in this connection I cited many of these passages (without copying them), and briefly interpreted the whole thing. What I really expected from you was that you would take a specific stand on everyone of the passages in question. Well, time did not allow you (as you yourself have told me) to look up the passages themselves. Thus you answer only with "general" considerations about Plato, and the entire discussion gets sidetracked.

I can only hope that when you are done with your Machiavelli you will have the time and the inclination to answer my first letter concretely (assuming that Klein has not lost it in the meantime [which would be a great pity, as it is my only writing dealing with the issue]). I attach particular importance to the first part of the Parmenides (up to the so-called "dialectic").

So far I am acquainted with only one concrete stand on your part: that regarding the Eleatic Stranger.

Now, here I can really not understand why you refuse to see the ironical element in the depiction of the Stranger. Socrates's reaction is, after all, exactly the same as his reaction to Protagoras, Euthydemus, etc.: ironically exaggerating admiration of the "divine wisdom" of a sophist.

Finally and in conclusion, the following may surely not be ignored:

1 ͦ The depiction of the "philosopher" in the Thaet<etus> is manifestly ironic;

2 ͦ Theodorus does not see the irony, takes the depiction seriously and recognizes himself in it [in which he is again right];

3 ͦ The Stranger is introduced [in the Soph<ist>] by this Theodorus, as a philosopher.

4 ͦ That is to say: in the eyes of Theodorus, the Stranger corresponds to the depiction of the" philosopher" in the Thaet<etus>; hence in Plato's eyes, the Stranger is a "sophist"; more precisely, a "modern [= post-socratic] sophist, that is to say, a scholar [natural- scientific with "philosophical" pretensions; ! say, Plato has the "Pythodorus" of the Parm<enides> in mind [for me "Pythod<orus>" = Theodor<us> + Thaetetus + Eudoxus; that is to say, in the Sophist: Stranger = Eudoxus].

Here, then, is a concrete difference in our interpretations of Plato. But here, too, the question can probably be resolved only by a comprehensive interpretation of all relevant passages in the [7] dialogues.

In the meantime I have read [Apud Rosan, Proclus, N.Y.] the supposed "biography" of Proclus by the so-called "Marianus." When I read the vita Isidori, I suspected that this "Marianus" was nothing but an alias for Damascius and that the "biography" might in fact be an "ironic" parody. Reading this "biogr<aphy>" has fully confirmed it [here I did indeed have a preconceived opinion!] The ''biogra<phy>" is a duplicate of the vita Isidori.

I have copied some passages from it and sent them to Koyre with the request that he forward the letter to you.

All this is interesting because Damascius emigrated to Persia and could have begun an oral tradition there that extends up to Farabi.

I have tried in vain to get Bloom to read the vita Isidori [Isi-dar or Pytho-dor]. But he is busy with an Othello interpretation where he appears as Yahwe and Iago as Christ ... [1]

I have not yet begun my Julian-essay (for your Festschrift), but I hope to be able to write it in Geneva. Perhaps with a short footnote about "Sallustius" -- Damascius -- "Marinus." But I would have liked first to know what you think about these texts. But that will hardly be possible.

With heartiest cordial greetings.

Your Kojeve


Paris 5.15.58

Dear Mr. Strauss,

Many thanks for sending me your Farabi. I have just read it. It is "first-class." [1]

As you know, I am now more or less of the same opinion as Farabi. Only, for me F<arabi>'s "Socrates" is the historical Plato himself. Either the Laws are intended by Plato as Farabi understands them, or they are forgeries (by Philippos of Opus and Speusippus) (or: Books I-IX [in particular IX) forged, and X-XII re-written). Plato's real opinion is found in the Rep<ublic > + Statesman + (Tim<aeus> + Kritias) + Philebus. They deal exclusively with the "Academy," that is to say, with life together [2] in view of wisdom, [2] or philo-sophizing. This "Academy" ought to be a "monastery," that is to say, "separated" (chorismo) from the "world." The "lawgiver" is the Kephalos, the Head of the Academy [3]: he ought to be "sole ruler" and not bound by any "laws" (= prejudices). Etc. However: the "common" reader knows nothing of the Academy and thinks exclusively of the polis. Read that way, the Republic and the States<man> are deliberately "absurd": in the Republic the cynic-sophistic "communism" (including the ridiculous "community of women"), and in the States<man> ---- sophistic "tyranny." The entirely serious polemic (against Euclid-Eudoxus-Aristotle) revolves around the "politeia" inside the Academy; that is to say: 1) either dialectics (= genuine diairesis without "koinonia" [atomos eidos), or "logic" + "science"; 2) either "the good life" through the living model (paradigma) of the "leader," or -- "study."

This genuinely platonic conception was tried ("monks") for a thousand years (by both Christians and Muslims), and degenerated into Bayle's Republic of Letters which remains "alive" to this day. Betrayal of the Intellectuals). [4] Genuine politicians (statesmen) were always opposed to this (as Julian already was): namely, what Plato may really have meant was of no concern to them, and what they (mis)understood of Plato was naturally "utopian" (because it could only be carried out by a "superhuman" tyranny). That is how it stood until Hegel-Marx: for they did not want either to destroy the Academy (= "monasteries") or to render them inactive and ineffectual, but wanted on the contrary to transform them into a "polis." For Hegel/Marx (but by no means for Plato), the philosophers ought indeed (and hence can) become "Kings" (Napoleon-mine) [naturally not the other way around, which would be "utopian"; whereas the phil<osopher's> becoming king is not at all utopian -- insofar as this "becoming" is a revolution]. [Something like this is perhaps also what Machiavelli had in view.]

As for "the art of writing," it is possible that Farabi goes back to a tradition (oral?), namely to Damascius's teaching in Persia. He stayed there for only two years, but that might have been enough. Damascius himself goes back to Julianus. [In the Vita Procli, "Marianus" quotes almost literally from Julian's Speeches, and in the vita Isidori echoes of Julian can also be found.] And Julian was not alone (even disregarding his friend Sallustius). The entire so-called "Vespasian School" thought as he did, It is not a "school," and certainly not "mystical" or "neo-platonic," but rather "epicurean" or democritian. So was Julian, but as Emperor or "civil servant" he deliberately opposed the "epicureanism" ("gardens") of those "intellectuals" (cp. his speech to [ = against] Themistius). That is perfectly evident in Eunapius's Vita Soph. [6] (although Eunapius himself did not understand it): especially clearly in connection with Julian's greeting of Maximus (a typical "adventurer"). If you have the time, you must read Eunapius!

With best greetings,

Your Kojeve

P.S. By the way, Julian was of the opinion (as were Dam<ascius> and Farabi) that Plato thought exactly as they did, and only never said so openly.


Paris 2.17.59.

Dear Mr. Strauss,

Many thanks for the new book. [1] Although I know the lectures, the book seems to have come out very differently. I will certainly read it.

Please excuse me for thanking you only now. But I was travelling: India, Siam, then Geneva. As a civil servant, naturally.

I would like to hear what you think of my Julianus, [2] in which I publicly appear as a faithful Strauss-disciple.

If you now have more time we might perhaps also resume our Plato dialogue. Klein naturally did not react at all. And you yourself did not have the time to check the passages I cited.

In any event I would like it if I could have my first (long) Plato letter back. It must at present be with Klein. It is the only piece I have written on the question.

I keep hoping I can go to the U.S. But I am now so "European" that it is not altogether easy.

It appears that Gallimard (NRF) intends to have my posthumous works typed up: in exchange for the right to publish some parts post mortem. The latter is a matter of indifference to me. But as soon as I have a typescript, I will send it to you, for your judgment. Besides, Bloom has probably spoken to you about it.

With best greetings,

Your Kojeve


Paris, 4.6.61

Dear Mr. Strauss,

We have not written to each other for an eternity. I don't even know who first did not answer.

The last thing I had from you was your Machiavelli. [1] I am not sure I wrote you about it. It seems to me that I did.

In any event, the book is first class. I am naturally not in agreement with the conclusion suggested at the end. But that is not important.

According to Hegel (Ph<enomenology> of M<ind>, propaganda in the modern sense was not discovered until the Enlightenment. According to you, it was discovered by Machiavelli. You appear to be right. But Hegel is also right, in the sense that mass- propaganda in the modern sense developed only in the 18th century. However, Machiavelli is also right (at least according to your interpretation), when he says that the "modern" system of propaganda is specifically Christian.

In the meantime I have completed my Ancient Philosophy. Over 1000 pages. Taubes [2] has had them photocopied. In my view it is by no means "ready for publication." But if Queneau insists, I will not refuse. (To refuse would, in this case, also amount to taking oneself seriously!)

Bloom is hard at work on his translation [3] and I hardly see him. On the other hand, I frequently talk with Rosen, [4] whom I rather like. He seems to me to be more serious than Bloom.

In terms of health, I am quite well. My official work is very interesting and productive.

I would enjoy hearing from you.

With most cordial greetings,

Your Kojeve


Chicago 37, Illinois
Department of Political Science

January 30, 1962

M. Alexandre Kojeve
13 Bd. du Lycee
Vanves (Seine) France

Dear M. Kojeve:

I write to you today at the request of Gadamer. He is very anxious that you should come to the opening meeting of the International Hegel Association which will take place at the end of July in Heidelberg and that you should give there a lecture. I suppose he wants you to present your overall interpretation of Hegel. I am sure it would be for the common good if you would give that lecture. Be so good as to let me know at your earliest convenience what you plan to do, so that I can inform Gadamer. The only reason why he did not write to you directly was that he thought that a letter from me to you might be more effective.

How far advanced is your work? I am preparing a small book to be called "The City and Man," three lectures, one on the Politics, one on the Republic and one on Thucydides. My German book on Spinoza is in the process of being translated into English; I plan to write a very long preface to it containing my autobiography.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

As ever yours,

Leo Strauss



Chicago 37, Illinois
Department of Political Science

March 27, 1962

M. Alexandre Kojeve
13 Bd. du Lycee
Vanves (Seine) France

Dear M. Kojeve:

On January 30 I wrote to you as follows:

"I write to you today at the request of Gadamer. He is very anxious that you should come to the opening meeting of the International Hegel Association which will take place at the end of July in Heidelberg and that you should give there a lecture. I suppose he wants you to present your overall interpretation of Hegel. I am sure it would be for the common good if you would give that lecture. Be so good as to let me know at your earliest convenience what you plan to do, so that I can inform Gadamer. The only reason why he did not write to you directly was that he thought that a letter from me to you might be more effective.

How far advanced is your work? I am preparing a small book to be called "The City and Man," three lectures, one on the Politics, one on the Republic and one on Thucydides. My German book on Spinoza is in the process of being translated into English; I plan to write a very long preface to it containing my autobiography.

Hoping to hear from you soon."

Inasmuch as I have not received a reply would you please give this your earliest attention. As ever yours,

Leo Strauss




Dear Mr. Strauss,

Please excuse me for not yet having answered your first letter. Oddly enough, I was planning to do so today, before I received the second letter.

Well, the reason is that I could not decide to say no, although I had no desire to accept the invitation.

The older I get, the less interested I am in so-called philosophical discussions. Except for yourself and Klein I have not yet found anybody from whom I could learn something. If you or Klein or both of you were to go to Heidelberg, I would naturally also come. But otherwise....

It is really a matter of utter indifference to me what the philosophical gentlemen think or say about Hegel.

A few days ago I gave a lecture on dialectics at the College Philosophique of Jean Wahl [1] who had been asking me to do so for over five years. It was terrible. More than 300 very young people came, the room had to be changed, and nevertheless people sat on the floor. When one thinks that this happens only for lectures by Sartre! And that when I first spoke at the Ecole barely a dozen people were in attendance! But the worst was that all these youths set down everything I said. I tried to be as paradoxical and shocking as possible. But no one became indignant, no one thought of protesting. Everything was quietly written down. I had the impression of having become a kind of Heinrich Rickert. [2] In other words, an "old gent." The public, on the other hand, was typically Saint Germain and Cafe Flore (I spoke at a short -- at most 100 meters -- distance from it). So that at times I felt like some famous twist-teacher....

All this in order to tell you that I am becoming more and more "platonic." One should address the few, not the many. One should speak and write as little as possible. Unfortunately my Essay at a Reasoned History of Pagan Philosophy is to be published, and it comprises more than 1000 (sic) pages!

With very best greetings,



P.S. Why do you never come to Europe?


Chicago 37, Illinois
Department of Political Science

May 29, 1962

M. Alexandre Kojeve
15, Boulevard du Lycee
Vanves (Seine) France

Dear M. Kojeve:

I thank you for your letter of March 29. I informed Gadamer immediately. I understand your judgment on this kind of meetings and I am in the habit of acting on the same judgment. Your experience with the philosophic seminar of Wahl does not surprise me. If one wants to see young people who are not mentally in their seventies, one has to come to Chicago. Would it be at all possible for you to spend some time with us, assuming that the money could be raised?

I am looking forward with the utmost interest to your history of pagan philosophy. I am glad to see that, as is indicated by the adjective, you have returned to the faith of your fathers. I myself have written a fairly long chapter on Plato (but only on his political philosophy) for a history of political philosophy which I am editing. My present preoccupation is with my old book on Spinoza which has been translated into English and for which I am writing a new preface, [1] intended to bridge the gulf between 1930 Germany and 1962 U.S.A. It comes as close to an autobiography as is possible within the bounds of propriety. In addition I am preparing for publication three lectures on the city and man, dealing with the Politics, the Republic and Thucydides. Only after these things have been finished will I be able to begin with my real work, an interpretation of Aristophanes.

Klein claims to have finished his book on the Meno -- only three more months for checking on the footnotes -- but since he has said more or less the same three years ago I believe I shall have to wait another lustrum for its appearance.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

As ever yours,

Leo Strauss


Chicago 37, Illinois
Department of Political Science

October 4, 1962

M. Alexandre Kojeve
13 Bd. du Lycee
Vanves (Seine), France

Dear Mr. Kojeve:

I am very sorry that it took me so long to reply to your letter of July 17. I was very glad to hear that you might be willing to pay us a visit here in Chicago. It is not impossible that we can arrange it financially in 1963, perhaps in the early months of that year. But in order to convince the authorities, I would have to know for how long a period you would be able to come; for a week, a month, a quarter (i.e., two months) or any other period. I must know this very soon, a brief postcard would be sufficient.

I am very anxious to see the second edition of your book especially the supplement on Japan.

With kindest regards.

As ever yours,

Leo Strauss



Chicago 37, Illinois
Department of Political Science

November 16, 1962

M. Alexandre Kojeve
13 Bd. du Lycee
Vanves (Seine)

Dear M. Kojeve:

I believe that a month's stay here would be perfectly agreeable to the authorities here. Unfortunately, the months June-September would be the worst from our point of view. What about April, or say April 10-May 10? Be so good as to let me know as soon as possible.

What you say about my preface to my book on Spinoza is not entirely new to me. I think I have taken into consideration your objection, whereas you have not taken into consideration the point which I make. Perhaps we can clear up this difficulty when you come here.

With kindest regards.

As ever yours,

Leo Strauss


Chicago 37, Illinois
Department of Political Science

January 25, 1963

M. Alexandre Kojeve
13 Bd. du Lycee
Vanves (Seine), France

Dear M. Kojeve:

I am sorry that it took me such a long time to reply to your letter. There are all kinds of administrative difficulties, to say nothing of my own work. I eventually succeeded in talking to the individual who is in charge of the lectures such as those which I hope you will give. They are having a meeting next week; for one reason or the other he insists on corresponding directly with you. So I expect that you will hear from him within the next two weeks.

I am now writing the third and last chapter of a short book to be entitled The City and Man (Aristotle's politics; Plato's Republic; Thucydides). Around Easter Pines' new translation of Maimonides' Guide with a rather long introduction by me [1] as well as <a> History of Political Philosophy [2] written by my former students, and, last but not least, the English version of Gallimard's On Tyranny will be out. You may have heard that Bloom has succeeded in becoming a member of the Political Science profession.

With kindest regards.

As ever yours

Leo Strauss



June 3, 1965

Dear Mr. Kojevnikoff,

Thank you so much for your letter. I have told Cropsey that you did not get a copy of the Festschrift. He is certain that the publisher sent you one. Perhaps you can check once more at home.

I very much regretted that you could not make a side-trip to Chicago. As for myself, I hardly travel any more. I experience considerable discomfort ever since my circulation has stopped functioning properly. In any case, Gildin, who has evidently sat at your feet with open ears and open mouth, has given a detailed report on your political views. I was pleased to see that you are just as critical of D.S. liberals as I am. It did not surprise me, because I know there is reason, and that you are reasonable.

I almost came to Europe this Spring: I had accepted an invitation from Hamburg for the 1965 S<ummer> S<emester>,but then had to cancel it for reasons of health. I should have liked to see with my own eyes how things are developing in Germany. From intelligent young Germans I got the impression that the development exhibits a certain parallelism to 1830 and ff: a turning away from German speculation (in the twentieth century, away from Heidegger) toward Western positivism (that is to say, American social science).

I did not get your Koyre essay. Please do send it to me. Or do you mean your contribution to the Melanges Koyre. [1] That one I did indeed get; it arrived together with your letter.

I was unable to write to Mrs. Koyre. That is very bad. I trust that she will forgive me.

As for your contribution to my Festschrift, I had been acquainted with it for a long time, since you had sent me the manuscript. I was very gratified, since it shows that persecution and the art of writing are not some fancy. (Incidentally, a young American -- Hathaway -- is currently working on the pseudo-Dyonisius from your point of view. [2] I have referred him to your observations regarding the neo-Platonists.)

I have just finished dictating a book, Socrates and Aristophanes. [3] I believe that it will elicit an occasional smile from you, and not only because of Aristophanes' jokes and of my Victorian paraphrases of them. If all goes well, I will then turn to Lucretius.

Did you get my The City and Man? [4] And what do you say about Klein's Meno? [5]

Cordially as ever,


Leo Strauss

Re: On Tyranny, by Leo Strauss

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:17 am
by admin
Editorial Notes

Strauss to Kojeve, 6 December 1932

A postcard, written in German; two holes punched in along one edge, with a view to filing the card in a binder.

Strauss to Kojeve, 13 December 1932

A postcard, written in French; holes punched in.

Strauss to Kojeve, 17 December 1932

Written in German. The original is lost. The transcription is based on a photocopy.

Strauss to Kojeve, from 47 Montague Street, London

A postcard, written in English, probably in early 1933. The original is lost. The transcription is based on a photocopy of poor quality that shaved off some letters at the right-hand edge of several lines of the text. Additional text was lost because of the holes punched into the card.

Strauss to Kojeve, 16 January 1934

Written in English. The original is lost. The transcription is based on a photocopy of poor quality.

1. Jacob Klein (1899-1978), Strauss's and Kojeve's life-long friend, took his doctorate in Marburg under Nicolai Hartmann.

2. Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-), long-time professor of philosophy at Heidelberg University, best known for his Wahrheit und Methode (1960; tr. Truth and Method, 1975). The "Correspondence Concerning Wahrheit und Methode" between Strauss and Gadamer has been published in The Independent Journal of Philosophy (1978), 2:5-12. See also: "Recollections of Leo Strauss: An Interview with Hans-Georg Gadamer," The Newsletter, Politics Department, University of Dallas, Spring 1978, 2: 4-7; and Ernest L. Fortin, "Gadamer on Strauss: An Interview," Interpretation (1984), 12: 1-14.

Gadamer, Strauss and Kojeve met in Paris in Spring 1933. The Gadamer alias, "Moldauer," seems to have been a private joke between Strauss and Kojeve.

3. Heidegger's May 1933 Address upon assuming the Rectorship of Freiburg University a few months after the National Socialists' seizure of power. It has been translated and annotated by K. Harries under the title "The Self-Assertion of the German University," in The Review of Metaphysics, (1985),38: 470-480; page 474 of the translation corresponds to the page of the original publication w which Strauss refers.

4. Paul Ludwig Landsberg (1901-1944), studied with Husserl and Scheler; he was dismissed from his teaching position at the University of Bonn in 1933; he had by then published Pascals Berufung (Bonn, 1929), Die Welt des Mittelalters und wir (Bonn 1922) and Wesen und Bedeutung der platonischen Akademie (Bonn 1933); by the time his Einfuhrung in die philosophische Anthropologie came out (Frankfurt a/M, 1934), he had moved to France, where he published in the review Esprit, and was politically active. In 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo in Pau. He died a year later in the Oranienburg Concentration Camp.

5. Alexandre Koyre (Rostov-on-Don 1892-Paris 1964), the distinguished historian of philosophy and of science; he had gone to study with Husserl and Hilbert in Germany around 1910; fought in the French army in World War 1, and settled in France, where he taught at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes.

Strauss to Kojeve, from 2 Elsworthy Road, London

Written in German, probably February or March 1934. The original is lost. The printed text is based on a transcription.

1. Julius Guttmann (1880-1950), best known for his Die Philosophie des Judentums, Munich, 1933 (Engl. tr. 1964); between 1922 and 1934 he was Director of the Akademie fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums, in Berlin. Strauss was associated with that Institute from 1925 to 1932. His "The Quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns in the Philosophy of Judaism," subtitled "Remarks on Julius Guttmann's Philosophy of Judaism," stands as the opening essay w his first volume of collected essays, Philosophie und Gesetz. Guttman became professor of Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1934.

Strauss to Kojeve, 9 April, 1934

Written in German. The printed text is based on a poor photocopy of one side, and a transcription of the other side of a lost original into which holes had again been punched for filing purposes.

1. Dr. Zbigniew Lubienski, Die Grundlagen des ethisch-politischen Systems von Hobbes, Ernst Reinhardt, Munich, 1932.

2. Ferdinand Tonnies, Thomas Hobbes Leben und Lehre, Fromann, Stuttgart, 1886; 3rd enlarged ed., 1925.

3. "A recent and very competent writer (L Strauss in Recherches philosophiques, II, 610) has said that Hobbes was the true founder ofliberalism (in the continental sense), that his absolutism was liberalism in the making, and that both the critics and the opponents of any thoroughgoing liberalism should go back to Hobbes." John Laird, Hobbes, Benn, London 1934, p. 312, n. 1. Laird's reference is to Strauss's "Quelques remarques sur la science politique de Hobbes: a propos du livre recent de M. Lubienski," Recherches philosophiques, (1933),2: 609-622.

4. Strauss's stepson.

5. Strauss had addressed this letter to Monsieur Alexandre <sic> 15 bd. du Lycee, Vanves (Seine). It was returned -- Retour a l'envoyeur -- to 2 Elswonhy Rd., London N.W. 3 with the handwritten note that the addressee is "inconnu au 15 Bd. du Lycee." Thereupon Strauss wrote, in English, on the back of the envelope: "I am so sorry -- but why did the post not find you? To speak like an Englishman (Englishmen, you remember, like jokes about death, as they are most original people) -- are you dead or buried? The College of Arms decided the question concerning the Essays-Ms in the favorable sense: i.e. the Essays must be the earliest writings of Hobbes," and remailed the letter in a correctly addressed envelope. The essays have recently been published as Thomas Hobbes, Three Discourses. Edited by N. Reynolds and A. Saxonhouse. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

Kojeve to Strauss, 1 May 1934

Written in German.

1. Serge Stavisky had started as a petty criminal, but soon managed a series of major financial swindles with the complicity of persons in the highest reaches of French finance, politics, and the police. When his house of cards collapsed, the police found him dead under suspicious circumstances and before he could implicate anyone. Nevertheless, the ensuing scandal brought down a government, caused riots in Paris in January 1934, and set off a wave of intense xenophobia.

2. Jacob Gordin (St. Petersburg ca. 1896-Paris 1947); was later associated with the Institut des Langues Orientales. He came to be viewed as one of the most influential figures in the postwar renewal of Jewish studies in the French-speaking world.

3. Fritz Heinemann (1889-1970), student of Hermarm Cohen, Professor at the University of Frankfurt a/M until forced to leave in 1933; he subsequently taught at Oxford. His Die Philosophie im XX. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart, 1959) contains brief allusions to Kojeve and to Strauss.

Abel Rey (1873-1940), historian and philosopher of science. In 1932 Kojeve submitted a thesis on "L'idee du determinisme dans la physique classique et dans la physique moderne" to him, with a view to obtaining a doctorat es lettres. It has been edited by Dominique Auffret, and published by Le livre de poche, Paris, 1990.

4. Georges Gurvitch (St. Petersburg 1894-Paris 1966),had emigrated to France after completing his studies in Germany. His Les tendances actuelles de la philosophie allemande: E. Husserl, M. Scheler, E. Lask, M. Heidegger (Vrin, 1930), was based on a course of lectures he delivered at the Sorbonne in the preceding year. Later he became best known as a sociologist. During World War II he taught at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York. From 1948 until the time of his death he taught at the Sorbonne. At the time of this letter of Kojeve's, the phenomenologist Aron Gurwitsch (Vilna 1901-New York 1973) was also living in Paris.

Strauss to Kojeve, 3 June 1934

Written in German. The original is lost. The transcription is based on a defective photocopy.

1. Mitleben.

Strauss Kojeve, 9 May 1935

Written in German.

1. Jacob Klein, "Die griechische Logistik und die Entstehung der Algebra," Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie und Physik, Abteilung B: Studien, vol. 3, fasc. 1 (Berlin, 1934), pp. 18-105 (Part I); fasc. 2 (1936), pp. 122-235 (Part II); translated by Eva Brann under the title Greek Mathematical Thought and the Origin of Algebra, The M.I.T. Press, 1968.

2. Philosophie und Gesetz. Beitrage zum Verstandnis Maimunis und seiner Vorlaufer, Schocken, Berlin, 1935; translated by Fred Baumann as Philosophy and Law, Essays Toward the Understanding of Maimonides and His Predecessors, The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 1987; and by Eve Adler as Philosophy and Law: Contributions to the Understanding of Maimonides and His Predecessors, SUNY, 1995.

Kojeve to Strauss, 2 November 1936

Written in German.

1. The Political Philosophy of Hobbes: Its Basis and Its Genesis, tr. Elsa M. Sinclair, foreword Ernest Barker; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936.

2. vorgegebene Gegebenheiten.

3. aufgegebene Werte.

Kojeve to Strauss, 22 June 1946

Written in German.

1. "Farabi's Plato," Louis Ginzberg Jubilee Volume, New York: Academy for Jewish Research, 1945, pp. 357-393; reprinted in abbreviated and modified form as the "Introduction" to Persecution and the Art of Writing, The Free Press of Glencoe, 1952.

2. Raymond Queneau (1903-1976), the witty, inventive, and prolific writer, and editor at Gallimard.

3. Eric Weil (1904-1977) wrote his dissertation under Ernst Cassirer, as had Strauss. In 1933 he settled in Paris, where he attended Kojeve's seminar. After the War he taught at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, and subsequently at the Universities of Lille and of Nice.

4. Klein came to America in 1938, and soon after his arrival began teaching at St. John's College in Annapolis. He served as Dean of the College from 1949 to 1958.

Kojeve to Strauss, 8 April 1947

Written in German.

1. Most probably "The Law of Reason in the Kuzari," Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research (1943), 13, pp. 47-96; reprinted in Persecution and the Art of Writing, The Free Press, 1952, pp. 95-141; and "On Classical Political Philosophy," Social Research (1945), 12, pp. 98-117; reprinted in What is Political Philosophy? The Free Press, 1959, pp. 78-94.

2. Alexandre Koyre, Discovering Plato, Columbia University Press, 1945.

3. Logique de la philosophie, Paris, 1950, which was Weil's these principale. His these complimentaire was a short but useful book on Hegel et l'etat. While these works were heavily under the influence of Kojeve's Hegelianism, Weil's later works became increasingly neo-Kantian.

Strauss to Kojeve, 22 August 1948

Typewritten in German.

1. Foreword by Alvin Johnson; Political Science Classics, New York, 1948.

2. Introduction a la lecture de Hegel, Paris, Gallimard, 1947.

3. "the rational animal."

4. Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Zarathustra's Prologue, section 5.

Strauss to Kojeve, 6 December 1948

Typewritten in English.

Strauss to Kojeve, 13 May 1949

Written in German.

1. Kojeve's Esquisse d'une phenomenologie du droit was initially written during the War, in 1943; it was published posthumously by Gallimard, in 1982.

Kojeve to Strauss, 26 May 1949

Written in German.

Strauss to Kojeve, 27 June 1949

Written in German.

1. Soma sema; Greek pun: "the body is a tomb"; see Plato, Gorgias, 493a 3, Cratylus 400c

2. "The happiness of contemplation is really available only from time to time, so says the philosopher." The reference is to Aristotle, Metaphysics, XII, 7, 1072b 25.

Kojeve to Strauss, 15 August 1949

Written in German.

Strauss to Kojeve, 4 September 1949

Written in German.

1. In English in the text.

2. Karl Jaspers, Vom Ursprung und Ziel der Geschichte, Artemis-Verlag, Zurich, 1949.

Kojeve to Strauss, 10 October 1949

Written in German.

Strauss to Kojeve, 14 October 1949

Written in German.

1. In English in the text.

Kojeve to Strauss, 26 December 1949

Written in German.

Strauss to Kojeve, 18 January 1950

Written in German.

1. peri ton megiston te kai kalliston; "about the greatest and the fairest things."

Strauss to Kojeve, 24 March 1950

Written in German.

Kojeve to Strauss, 9 Apri1 1950

Written in German.

Strauss to Kojeve, 26 June 1950

Written in German.

1. "about the principles (as well as about the beginning);" in Greek letters in the text.

Strauss to Kojeve, 28 July 1950

Written in German.

Strauss to Kojeve 5 August 1950

Written in German.

Strauss to Kojeve, 14 September 1950

Written in German.

Kojeve to Strauss, 19 September 1950

Written in German.

1. Torquemada (1420-1498), chief of the Spanish Inquisition; F. E. Dzerzhinski (1877-1926) organized the Soviet Secret Police (Cheka, later OGPU, then NKVD, and then KGB) on Lenin's instructions. Both Torquemada and Dzerzhinski were notorious for their inhuman cruelty.

2. The reference appears to be to the paragraph on pp. 188f. above.

3. The letter breaks off at this point; at least one sheet is missing.

Strauss to Kojeve, 28 September 1950

Written in German.

Strauss to Kojeve, 19 January, 1951

Written in German.

1. Bertrand de Jouvenel (1903-1987), political journalist and author of works in political theory; regarding his career see Zeev Sternhell, Neither Right nor Left, University of California Press, 1986, passim.

Strauss to Kojeve, 22 February 1951

Typewritten in English.

Strauss to Kojeve, 17 July 1952

Written in German.

1. Persecution and the Art of Writing (The Free Press, 1952), was reviewed by Yvon Belaval under the title "Pour une sociologie de la philosophie," in Critique, October 1953, 68/69: 853-866; Strauss comments on Belaval's review as well as on a review by George H. Sabine in "On a Forgotten Kind of Writing," Chicago Review, 1954, 8: 64-75, reprinted in Independent Journal of Philosophy, 1978, 2: 27-31.

2. A. Kojeve, "Les Romans de la Sagesse," Critique, May 1952, 8: 387-397.

Kojeve to Strauss, 11 August, 1952

Written in German.

1. Probably "On Collingwood's Philosophy of History," The Review of Metaphysics (1952), 5:559-586.

Kojeve to Strauss, 29 October 1953

Written in German.

1. Presumably Natural Right and History, University of Chicago Press, 1953.

2. King Ahab covets the vineyard of his neighbor Naboth who refuses to give it up to the king because "[t]he Lord forbid it me that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee." I Kings 21: 1-3, cited in epigraph to Natural Right and History.

The sequel of the story of Ahab and Naboth bears directly on the point here at issue between Strauss and Kojeve.

3. Massendressur und Volkshygiene.

Strauss to Kojeve, 28 April 1954

Typewritten in English.,

1. De la tyrannie, par Leo Strauss; traduit de l'anglais par Helene Kern, Precede de Hieron, de Xenophon, et suivi de Tyrannie et Sagesse par Alexandre Kojeve. Les Essays LXIX, Gallimard, Paris, 1954.

2. Karl Lowith (1897-1973), student of Husserl's and Heidegger's, taught at Marburg until 1934, when he was forced out of the University. He spent two years in Rome on a Rockefeller Fellowship, went on to teach at Sendai University in Japan, the Hartford (CT)Seminary, the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, and in 1952 he accepted a Professorship at Heidelberg University. His extensive writings, primarily on Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger, have been collected in a ninevolume Sammtliche Schriften (T. B. Metzler, Stuttgart, 1981-1988). His correspondence with Strauss appears in The Independent Journal of Philosophy, (1983), 4: 107-108; (1988), 5/6: 177-191. The remarkable memoir which he wrote in 1940, Mein Leben in Deutschland vor und nach 1933. Ein Bericht, was discovered and published posthumously (Metzler, 1986).

Strauss to Kojeve, 4 June 1956

Dictated in English.

1. Allan Bloom (1930-1992), late Professor, Committee on Social Thought, The University of Chicago; author of The Closing of the American Mind, Simon and Schuster, 1987, Love and Friendship, Simon & Schuster, 1993.

2. Shlomo Pines (Paris 1908-1989), historian of philosophy and of science, Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; (Collected Works, 2 vols., The Magnes Press, Jerusalem, 1979). Pines and Strauss collaborated on an edition of Maimonides's Guide of the Perplexed (see the letter of25 January 1963). See also Shlomo Pines, "On Leo Strauss," (translated from the Hebrew by A. L. Motzkin), The Independent Journal of Philosophy (1988), 5/6; 169-171.

3. Prolegomena to any future chutzpa that might present itself as absolute knowledge.

Kojeve to Strauss, 8 June 1956

Written in German.

1. Hilail Gildin (1929-), currently Professor of Philosophy, Queens College; founding editor of Interpretation; edited, with an Introduction, An Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ten Essays by Leo Strauss, Wayne State University Press, 1989; author of Rousseau's Social Contract, The Design of the Argument, The University of Chicago Press, 1983.

Kojeve to Strauss, 11 April 1957

Written in German; the quotations from Sallustius are in French.

1. "On the Euthyphron," published in Leo Strauss, The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism, Thomas Pangle, ed., The University of Chicago Press, 1989, pp. 187-206.

2. Division.

3. By Xenophon; see Strauss "The Spirit of Sparta or the Taste of Xenophon," Social Research (1939); 6: 502-536.

4. The passage in parentheses is a later addition.

5. In English in the text.

6. The Life of the Philosopher Isodorus, restored <translated and elucidated> by Asmus, Leipzig, Meiner, 1911.

7. The last of the normal letter-size sheets, on which this long letter is written, ends here. It may be that the remainder of the letter is lost. However, a loose and otherwise unidentified half-sheet in the folder that holds this correspondence would seem to belong here, and is therefore printed as the conclusion of the present letter.

Strauss to Kojeve, 22 April 1957

Typewritten in English.

1. Physis, "nature."

Strauss to Kojeve, 28 May 1957

Written in English. Transcribed from a typescript in the Chicago Strauss Archive.

1. opinion

2. moderate, fitting, proper.

3. crossed out; the penciled substitution is illegible.

Kojeve to Strauss, 1 July 1957

Written in German.

1. community of the kinds or species

2. community

3. Zeit = voll-endete Geschichte; Wissen = er-innerte [vollendete] Geschichte.

4. god-good

5. Sinn

6. separateness

7. community of the kinds or species

8. community of the ideas

9. kind or species

10. Giessen, 1909.

11. In English in the text.

12. the mean; or: the intermediate

13. by nature

14. for us

15. indeterminate dyad

16. good

17. speech, reason

18. intelligible universe

19. mind

20. or: actuality; Wirklichkeit

21. or: fulfilled; voll-endet

22. indivisible idea

23. division

24. mean

25. community

26. reading: woge<ge>n

27. separation

28. Kojeve cites the French translation by Auguste Dies in Platon, Oeuvres competes, Societe d'edition "Les Belles Lettres," Paris 1925.

29. mean

30. mind

31. indeterminate dyad

32. mind-god

33. wirklich

34. "What is Political Philosophy?", delivered in 1954 and 1955 as the Judah L. Magnes Lectures at the Hebrew University; revised version published as the title essay of What is Political Philosophy? and Other Studies, The Free Press of Glencoe, 1959.

35. The "Note" is a photocopy of a 20-page French typescript with some inked-in corrections, entitled: "Platon-Critique d'Aristote," and inscribed:

Amicus Plato ...

10/VII 57.

We have not included it in this translation of the correspondence because Kojeve very fully summarized its contents in the Plato interpretation of his letter of 11 April 1957, and in the present letter. A somewhat revised and expanded version of this Note eventually appeared in Kojeve's posthumously published Essai d'une histoire raisonnie de la philosophie pa'ienne, volume II, Platon-Aristote (Paris, 1972), pp. 364-378.

Strauss to Kojeve, 11 September 1957

Typewritten in English.

1. beings and becomings

Kojeve to Koyre, 24 October 1957

This letter, addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Koyre, ends with Kojeve's request that they send it on to Strauss. It is written in French, but the extensive citations are in English.

1. Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil, 208, 241, 254; Genealogy of Morals, 1.8; Ecce Homo, "Why I am a Destiny," sec. 1; Twilight oft he Idols, Morality as Anti-Nature, 3.

2. In English in the text.

3. In Rosan: " the Almighty (lit.: the revolution of the whole), ..."

4. Rosan: a

5. Rosan: quick-tempered; nevertheless

6. Rosan: say "That's

7. Rosan: at the higher

8. Rosan: which

9. Rosan: life, for

10. Rosan: Underlined by Kojeve.

11. read: XXXI

12. See Rosan's note 19, page 29.

13. Rosan: goddess

14. Underlined by Kojeve.

Kojeve to Strauss, 5 November 1957

Written in German.

1. "Cosmopolitan Man and the Political Community: Othello," The American Political Science Review, 1960, 54:129- 157; reprinted in Allan Bloom with Harry V. Jaffa, Shakespeare's Politics, Basic Books, 1964, pp. 35-74.

Kojeve to Strauss, 15 May 1958

Written in German.

1. Probably "How Farabi read Plato's Laws," Melanges Louis Massignon, vol. III, Damascus, 1957; reprinted in What is Political Philosophy? and Other studies, the Free Press, 1959, pp. 134-154.

2. In English in the text.

3. In English in the text.

4. In English in the text.

5. Julien Benda, La trahison des clercs, Paris, Grasset, 1927; translated by R. Aldington as Betrayal of the Intellectuals, Wm. Murrow, NY, 1928.

6. Lives of the Philosophers and of the Sophists.

Kojeve to Strauss, 17 February 1959

Written in German.

1. Probably What is Political Philosophy? and Other Studies, The Free Press, Glencoe, IL, 1959.

2. "The Emperor Julian and his Art of Writing" (translated by James H. Nichols, Jr.), in J. Cropsey ed., Ancients and Moderns, Essays in the Tradition of Political Philosophy in Honor of Leo Strauss, Basic Books, Inc., New York, 1964; pp. 95-113.

Kojeve to Strauss, 6 April 1961

Written in German.

1. Thoughts on Machiavelli, The Free Press of Glencoe, 1958.

2. Jacob Taubes (Vienna 1923-Berlin 1987), author of Abendlandische Eschatologie (1946), had held Visiting appointments at Harvard and Columbia Universities; in 1961 he became Visiting Professor, and in 1965 Professor of Jewish Studies and Hermeneutics at the Free University of Berlin. He tells of a meeting in Berlin in 1967 between Kojeve and the leaders of the student rebellion, at which Kojeve told "Dutschke & Co." "that the most important thing they could and should do, is ... to study Greek." It was not what they had expected to hear; nor is it what they did. Ad Carl Schmitt. Gegenstrebige Fugung, Merve Verlag (Berlin, 1987), p. 24 (I am indebted for this reference to Professor Lutz Niethammer; see also his Posthistoire: 1st die Geschichte zu Ende? [Rowohlt, Hamburg, 1989, p. 81, n. 21)].

3. Of Plato's Republic, published by Basic Books, New York, 1968.

4. Stanley Rosen (1929-), currently Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy, Boston University; author of significant works of Plato, Hegel, and contemporary philosophy; he discusses the debate between Strauss and Kojeve in Hermeneutics as Politics (Oxford University Press, 1987), chapter 3.

Strauss to Kojeve, 30 January 1962

Typewritten in English.

Strauss to Kojeve, 27 March 1962

Typewritten in English.

Kojeve to Strauss, 29 March 1962

Written in German.

1. Jean Wahl (1888-1974), Professor of Philosophy at the Sorbonne, he was among the first to introduce "existentialist" thought to France with such works as Le malheur de la conscience dans la philosophie de Hegel (1929), and Etudes Kirkegaardiennes (1938). The College Philosophique which he organized in the late 1940s provided a lively public forum outside the University for lectures and discussions by an unusually wide variety of distinguished French and foreign speakers.

2. Heinrich Rickert (1863-1936), neo-Kantian of the so-called Baden school, he was the very embodiment of professorial philosophy. He taught at Heidelberg for many years, and Kojeve had studied with him there.

Strauss to Kojeve, 29 May 1962

Typewritten in English.

1. "Preface to the English Translation" of Spinoza's Critique of Religion, tr., E. M. Sinclair, Schocken Books, New York, 1965, pp. 1-31; reprinted as "Preface to Spinoza's Critique of Religion," in Liberalism Ancient and Modern, Basic Books, New York, 1968, ch.9, pp. 224-259.

Strauss to Kojeve, 4 October 1962

Typewritten in English.

Strauss to Kojeve, 16 November 1962

Typewritten in English.

Strauss to Kojeve, 25 January 1963

Typewritten in English.

1. The University of Chicago Press, 1963.

2. Co-edited by Joseph Cropsey, Rand McNally & Co., Chicago, 1963.

Strauss to Kojeve, 3 June 1965

Written in German.

1. "L'origine chretienne de la science moderne," Melanges Alexandre Koyre, vol. II, pp. 295-306; Paris, 1964.

2. Ronald F. Hathaway, "Pseudo-Dyonisius and the Problem of the Sources in the Periphyseon of John Scotus Errigena," Brandeis University Dissertation.

3. Basic Books, N.Y., 1966.

4. Rand McNally, Chicago, 1964.

5. A Commentary on Plato's Meno, The University of North Carolina Press, 1965.

Re: On Tyranny, by Leo Strauss

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:18 am
by admin
Name Index

Adeimantus, 277
Agathon, 268
Agesilaus, 33-34, 98, 123n37
Alcibiades, 73, 170, 200, 266-69, 294
Alexander the Great, 169-72
Anaxagoras, 278, 288-89
Antiphon, 268
Antisthenes, 84, 278
Aquinas, Thomas, Summa Theologica, 286
Archilochus, 272
Aristippus, 100
Aristophanes, 107n17, 129n35, 268,
309, 314
Aristotle, xxi, 74, 106n3, 107n6, 108n2,
109n21, 111n36, 112nl, 113n24,
114n29, 117n66, 118n70, 119n11,
120n30, 121n50, 121n65, 127n7,
128n26, 129n43, 171, 182, 191,
200, 224, 228, 230, 261, 266, 268-70, 272, 277-
79, 282-90, 292,
295, 302, 312
Eudemian Ethics, 182
Metaphysics, 280, 287-90
Nichomachean Ethics, 277, 286
Physics, 290
Politics, 277, 295, 307, 309, 312
Protreptichos, 277
Asclepiodotos, 270
Asmus, 272
Astyages, 46
Austen, Jane, 185

Bacon, Francis, 228
Basjo [Miss], 222-30
Bataille, Georges, 241
Bayle, Pierre, 233-34, 256
Benardete, Seth, vii
Berns, Laurence, viii
Bloom, Allan, 263, 265, 276, 301,
304-5, 312
Brochard, Victor, 130n49
Burke, Edmund, 120, 129n41
Burkhardt, Jacob, 269
Burnett, John, 120n45

Caesar, 169, 178-180
Callicles, 68, 88
Castruccio, 184
Catiline, 206
Cato, 179
Cebes, 268, 271
Cephalus, 266, 276, 278, 286, 293, 302
Charicles, 37, 109n14
Charmides, 33, 200
Cicero, 26, 106n3, 116n40, 129n35,
130n8, 206
Clinias, 117n65
Critias, 33, 37, 43, 73-74, 109n14,
200, 276, 286-87, 292-94
Crito, 266, 275, 302
Critobulus, 33, 200
Cromwell, Oliver, 182
Cropsey, Joseph, viii, 313
Cyrus, 31-34, 72, 84, 91, 98-99,
113n18, 180-82, 202; see also

Dailochus, 7, 107n21
Dakyns, H.G., 129n40
Damascius, Life of Isidor, 269-73, 294-95, 299, 301-
Descartes, Rene, 153
DeWitt, Benjamin, 162
Diderot, Denis, 225
Diodorus Siculus, 112n1
Diogenes of Appolonia, 289
Diogenes Laertius, 130n45, 268, 273-74
Diomedes, 271
Dionysius, 100, 166
Dostoievski, Fydor M., 185
Dzerzhinski, Felix E., 254

Edelstein, Emma, 129
Edmonds, J. M., 127n8
Einstein, Albert, 281, 288
Empedocles, 128n26, 178
Engels, Friedrich, 209, 252
Epicharmus, 125n57
Euclid, 228, 302
Euclides, 268
Eudoxus, 266, 280-83, 287-89, 301-2
Eunapius, 303
Euphron, 46
Euripides, 106n2
Euthydemus, 300

Farabi, 206, 234, 275, 301-3

Gadamer, Hans-Georg, 223, 305-8
Galileo, 228, 232
Gallimard, 245, 247, 249, 251, 254,
304, 312
George, Stefan, 186
Gildin, Hilail, 264, 313
Glaucon, 278
Goethe, Johann W. v., 156
Faust, 164
Gordin, Jacob, 226, 230
Gourevitch, Victor, 251, 257, 259
Gronovius, J. F., 130n2
Grote, George, 107n21
Grotius, Hugo, 130n2
Gurevitsch, Georges, 227
Guttman, Julius, 224

Hartmann, Nicolai, 282
Hathaway, Ronald, 313
Hegel, G. W. F., x, xiii, xiv: xix xxi
125n59, 140-43, 147, 155-57,
164-65, 169, 174, 186, 190-92,
208, 230-38, 252, 255-56, 26162, 264, 279, 281-
82, 284, 29091, 303, 305-
Phenomenology of Mind, 236, 305
Hegesias, 271
Heidegger, Martin, xiv, xxii, 233, 236,
244, 250-51, 313
Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen
Universitat, 223
Holzwege, 250
Heinemann, Friedrich, 226
Heracles, 61, 273; see also Hercules
Heraclios, Cynic, 272-73
Heraclitus, 266-67, 280-83, 289
Hercules, 140, 296
Hering, 294
Hermocrates, 294
Hesiod, 125n57, 272
Hipparchus, 33
Hirzel, Rudolf, 113n16, 121n4
Hitler, Adolf, xv, 186, 226, 227, 257
Hobbes, Thomas, 106n1, 186, 192,
223, 225, 227-29, 231-33
Hoganer, 222
Homer, 47, 282, 289
Iliad, 47
Hume, David, 119n17
Husserl, Edmund, 153, 253, 256

Iamblichus, 269, 297
Ischomachus, 104, 190
Isocrates, 107n6, 109, 123n31, 127n5,
129n34, 130n4
To Nicocles, 93
Ivanoff, Nina, viii

Jaeger, Werner, 287
Jaspers, Karl, History, 245
Joachim of Floris, 184
Jouvenel, Bertrand de, 258, 320
Julian, Emperor
Hymn to Helios, Hymn to the Mother of the Gods, Letter to Themistius,
269-70, 272-73, 275
Speeches against the "Cynics," 272,
299, 302-4

Kant, Immanuel, 129n41, 237, 275, 283
Klazomenae, 288-89
Klein, Jacob, 229-30, 234-36, 274-75, 281, 300, 304, 307, 309, 314
Klein, Susanne, viii
Kojeve, Alexandre, 125, 178, 185-92,
194-95, 197, 199, 202-10, et passim
Koyre, Alexandre, 224, 226-27, 233-35, 245-47, 250, 264, 281, 301, 313

Laird, John, 225
Landesberg, Paul Ludwig, 224
Lenin, Vladimir I., 252
Lessing, Gotthold E., 107n22
Lincke, K., 115n39, 118n78
Livy, xxii, 26
Lowith, Karl, 235, 263
Lubienski, Zbieniew, 225
Lucretius, 314
Lukacz, Georg, The Young Hegel, 252, 257
Lycon, 190
Lycurgus, 72

Macauley, Thomas B., 115n32, 254
Macchiavelli, Niccolo, 24-25, 64, 70,
106n3, 119, 130n4, 183-86, 192,
240, 276, 294, 300, 303-5
The Prince, 24, 119n2, 276
Maimonides, Moses, 184, 206, 312
Mann, Thomas, 186
Mao Tse Tung, xxi, 262
Marchant, E. c., 113n18, 115n32, 118n1
Marianus: see Marius
Marinus: see Marius
Maritain, Jacques, 244
Marius, 299
Vita Procli, 301-3
Marx, Karl, xiv, 236, 244, 290, 303
Megera, 283, 287
Meier, Heinrich, viii
Mentz, Friedrich, 196
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 247, 250
Montesquieu, 106n1, 119n17, 120n34,
126n62, 131n10, 206
Moses, 183

Napoleon, 169, 173, 290, 303
Newman, Cardinal, 125
Niebuhr, B. G., 129n37
Nietzsche, Friedrich, xx, 208, 238-39

Odysseus, 47, 85
Olympiodorus, 295
Oppenheimer, Robert, 290

Pascal, Blaise, 129, 169, 196, 206
Paul, 171-73
Peisistrarus, 111n44
Pericles, 200
Peter, 125n51, 256
Philip of Macedon, 184
Philippos of Opus, 302
Philo, De origine mundi, 268
Pindar, 118n76
Pines, Schlomo, 264, 312
Plato, x, 23, 68, 87-88, 101, 106n3,
107n6, 108n22, 109n25, 111n47,
118n78, 119n17, 120n32, 121n50,
126n65, 127n7, 130n53, 153, 16266, 170-
71, 178, 180, 193, 198200, 204-
6, 230, 233, 235, 256,
261, 266-74, 276, 279, 286-93,
295, 299, 300-304, 309
Alcibiades I, 266-68
Epinomis, 289
Euthyphro, 265-66
Gorgias, 87, 275
Laws, 117n65, 289, 295
Menexenus, 293
Meno, 309, 314
Parmenides, 256, 261, 268, 276-78,
281, 286, 289, 293, 300-301
Phaedo, 267, 271, 275, 279, 288
Phaedros, 275
Philebus, 272, 276, 286, 302
Republic, 87, 266-67, 275-79,
286-87, 292-95, 302, 307, 309,
Sophist, 277-83, 287-89, 300-301
Statesman, 87, 278-79, 282-83,
286-89, 302
Symposium, 267, 275, 278
Theaetetus, 266, 274, 277-78, 28283, 286-
89, 301
Timaeus, 233, 268, 272, 276, 279,
286-89, 292-94, 302
Plotinus, 289
Plutarch, 206, 298
Pompey, 206
Prescott, William, 249
Proclus, Diadochus, 270, 294-99,
Prodicus, 100, 125n57
Protagoras, 277, 282, 300
Proteus, 282
Proxenus, 98, 129n35
Pythagoras, 268, 272-73, 296
Pythodorus, 268, 282, 301

Queneau, Raymond, 234, 247, 250,
257, 260, 263, 305

Richter, Ernst, 111n48
Rickert, Heinrich, 308
Romulus, 183
Rosan, Laurence, 294-95, 301
Rosen, Stanley, 305
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 119n7,
131n10, 290

Salazar, Antonio, 139, 188
Sallustius, On the Gods and the World,
269-70, 299, 302
Salutati, Coluccio, 179
Sanre, Jean-Paul, 243, 308
Savonarola, 183-84
Schelling, F. W. J. v., 236
Scipio Africanus, 184
Scopas, 94
Seuthes, 84
Simmias, 268
Smith, Adam, 192
Socrates, 25-26, 38, 42, 47, 61, 67, 72,
74-76, 84, 91, 98, 100-101,
111n46, 114n26, 118n5, 122n25,
123n30, 124n37, 126n60, 130n54,
143n, 152-61, 170-71, 182, 186,
190, 196-200, 202, 205, 266-68,
274-79, 282-83, 288-89, 292, 302
Speusippus, 289, 302
Spinoza, Baruch, 162, 306-7, 309,
Stalin, Joseph, xv, xxi, 188-89, 252, 257
Stavisky, Serge, 226
Stephanopoulos, 254
Stobaeus, 268
Strabo, 271
Strauss, Leo
Natural Right and History, 244, 261,
On Tyranny: An Interpretation of
Xenophon's Hiero, 236, 244-61
Persecution and the Art of Writing, 260
Socrates and Aristophanes, 314
The City and Man, 305, 312, 314
Strauss-Clay, Jenny, viii
Syrianus, 295

Taubes, Jacob, 305
Thales, 266, 283
Themistius, 303; see also Julian
Theodorus, 268, 277, 282-83, 288,
292-93, 301
Theophantus, 270
Theseus, 183
Thrasybulus, 43
Thrasymachus, 68
Thucydides, 26, Ill, 307, 309, 312
Tiberius, 156
Tigranes, 124
Toennies, Ferdinand, 225
Tucker, George Elliot, viii

Voegelin, Eric, 178-180, 181-84
Voltaire, 269-70, 272

Wahl, Jean, 307-8
Weber, Max, 281, 290
Weil, Eric, 234, 236, 238-41, 250,
261, 264-65, 281, 318n

Xenophanes, 289
Xenophon, 239-41
Agesilaus, 31-34, 180-81
Apology of Socrates, 31-34
Cyri Expeditio, 31-34, 75
Cyropaedaea, 31-34, 180-81
Hellenica, 47
Hiero, 24, 28-30, 242, 244, 248,
252, 256
Hipparchicus, 31-34
Lacedaemonian Republic, 266
Oeconomicus, 31-34, 85-87

Zeno of Elea, 283

Re: On Tyranny, by Leo Strauss

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:18 am
by admin
Subject Index

Abdication, 54, 57, 63; see also Suicide
Absolutism, 281
Actualizing (making real), 139, 146,
156, 170, 175, 232-33, 290
Admiration, 30, 42-45, 49, 64, 89, 160,
162, 238, 300
Affection: see Love
Ambition, xx, 49, 51, 53, 110n35
Anamnesis, 267, 275
Anthropology, 232, 262
Aristocracy, 71, 140-42, 150, 228, 267
Art, 26, 260, 269, 313
Astronomy, 278
Athens, 76, 274, 293, 296
Authoritarianism, 23; see also Despotism
Authority, 70, 141-45, 189
Automata, xiv, 255

Beneficence, 19-20, 29, 59, 69-71, 74-75, 83, 89-
90, 92, 99
Bible, 175, 178, 183-85, 189, 191-92,
238, 262
Bourgeoisie, 140-41, 151, 164, 232

Catholicism, 234
Chorismos, 282, 292, 302
Christianity, 141, 151, 158-59, 164,
171-73, 184, 232, 238, 269, 27273, 301-
2, 305
Circularity, xvii, xix, 237, 256, 281
Classical, viii, x, xxi, 23, 178, 184, 231,
255-56, 281
Collectivization, xxi, 27, 146, 262
Comedy, 267-68, 275
Constitution(s), 74, 288; see also Law
Conversation, 38, 267, 275
Cosmos, 233, 284, 294
Courage, 64, 71, 118n6, 228, 267, 296

Deduction, xix, 256, 262, 269, 284
Democracy, 32, 42, 47, 71, 76, 157,
234, 266
Democritus, 201, 269-74, 303
Despotism, 144
Determinism, 228
Diairesis, 266, 268, 279, 283, 286-87,
289, 302
Dialectic, xiii, xiv, 41, 148-49, 165, 167,
229, 231-33, 267, 289, 300, 302
Dialogue, 27, 66-68, 275-77, 287,
Dictatorship, 23, 144, 177
Divinity, 85, 140, 271, 295-99, 300
Doxa, 160, 277; see also Opinion

Eleatic Stranger, 77, 278, 292-93, 300-301
Elenchus, Socratic, 50
Empire, 171-72
Emulation, 141, 143; see also Recognition
End-State, 238, 290; see also History,
Nietzsche, Real man, State
Envy, 4, 13-15, 20-21, 44-45, 82-84,
110n36, 166n5
Epicureanism, xviii, 150-54, 162-63,
296, 303
Eros, 278
Eugenics, 262
Excellence, 43, 82; see also Gentleman,
Real man, Virtue
Existentialism, 244, 262

Fame, 228; see also Real man
Fascism, 234; see also Hitler
Fatherland, 11, 21, 52-53, 70, 96-98,
Fear, 4, 7, 11-14, 41, 51-54, 97, 228-29, 232-
33, 273-75
Freedom, xiv, xvi, xx, 5, 41, 43, 65, 69,
71, 84, 232-33, 256, 270
Friendship, 7-9, 84, 52-53, 96-97,
114n30, 194-96

Gentleman, 40, 42-43, 52, 94, 105,
181f, 190, 193f.
Gifts, 14, 16
God(s), 53, 85, 103-5, 115n40, 160-61,
166n5, 167, 197, 255, 271,
273, 278-79, 282, 284-85, 297
Good, the, 4, 52-53, 79, 84-85, 92-95, 267, 277-
79, 283-87, 293,
Government, 62, 73, 270

Happiness, xiii, 8, 21, 29-30, 34, 43,
64, 72-73, 81-82, 84, 182, 234,
237, 271
Hebrew, 171; see also Judaism, "Judeo-Christian"
Heterogeneity, 277, 287; see also
Historical, 138, 155, 228, 230, 237,
255-56; see also Historicism, History
Historicism, 25, 27, 251, 256, 280; see
also Relativism
History, xiii, 152, 160, 168, 173, 175,
198, 207, 208, 210, 228, 232-33,
237, 256, 281, 284, 286, 290
Homogeneity, xiii, 146, 238, 277
homogeneous, xv, xx, 168, 172-73,
192, 207-9, 238, 255-56, 262
Homosexuality, 7, 50; see also Honor,
Love, Sex
Honor, 10, 14-15, 18, 54-55, 60-62,
70, 80-81, 95, 99-100, 115n40,
139, 140, 142, 185-89, 228, 238,
271, 275
Human being (anthropos), 3, 14,
15n40, 190, 228, 232-33, 23739, 255-
56, 266, 278-79, 29697, 303;
see also Real man
Human nature, xx, xxi, 27, 228, 26162, 270-
71, 279; see also Nature
Humanism, 228

Idea, 268-69, 277-79, 283, 292-93,
Idealism, 26, 232
Ideology, xi, xii, 23, 146, 232, 290
Injustice, 56-58, 67; see also Justice,
Irony, 41, 266-70, 273-74, 277, 28284, 287, 289, 299-
Islam, 171, 238

Judaism, 238
"Judeo-Christian," 140-41
Just, the, 76, 84, 266-70, 274, 279,
Justice, 12, 56-58, 64, 71, 73-74, 91,
93, 104, 129n43, 267, 279

Kindness, 60, 64, 69, 83
Kingship, 68, 75
Knowledge, 74, 161, 229, 232, 277-81
Koinonia (Community), 281, 283,
287-89, 302

Law, 65, 68, 72-76, 104-5, 115n43
Liberal, xxii, 138, 146; see also Democracy
Liberty, 69; see also Freedom
Logos, 278, 281
Love, 16, 60-62, 64, 79, 81, 87-90,
125n59, 130, 142, 156, 198-99

Magnanimity, 228
Mass-state, 23; see also End-State
Master, xiii, 140, 142, 145, 170-71,
189, 190, 232, 267; see also Real man
Materialism, 232
Mercenaries, 17, 19, 63, 69-70, 89, 139
Mesotos, 285-86, 288-89
Metaphysics, 228
Metrion, 278
Military, 54, 63, 69
Misery, 43, 49, 65
Misology, 99, 267, 275
Moderation, 40, 64-65, 72
Modernity, ix-xx, 23, 139, 177
Monarchy, 32, 42, 69
Moral, xiii, 42
Mysticism, 275, 290

Nationalism, 256; see also Fatherland,
Natural right, xxi
Nature, xix-xx, 23, 27, 40, 65, 94-95,
168, 178, 208, 228, 267
Naziism, xxii; see also Fascism, Hitler
Neo-Platonism, 269-70, 272, 276
Noble, the, 9, 17, 20, 42, 60~62, 64-65,
79, 81, 84, 94, 136
Nous, 278, 284, 290, 297

Opinion, xii, 160, 281; see also Doxa
Order, 268, 288-90
Owl of Minerva, xvi

Pathology, 66
Patriot, 55; see also Fatherland
Philosophy, ix, x, xi, xiii, 147, 155, 177;
see also Classical, History, Modernity,
Phronesis, 297
Piety, 103-5; see also God(s)
Pleasure, 3-9, 37-38, 48-49, 60, 65,
Poet, 39, 44, 53-56, 63-64, 80, 138,
146, 187, 189-90
Private life, 10, 49-50, 78
Prizes, 63, 138
Propaganda, xiv, 305
Protestantism, 107, 234, 268
Providence, xx
Prudence, 62
Puritanism, 228

Rational, xiv, xvi, 232
Real man (aner), 8, 14, 51-55, 81, 84,
94, 113n18, 113n22, 116n44, 140,
209; see also Human being
Recognition, xii, xiii, xviii, 142-47, 15657, 159-
60, 189, 191, 197, 203,
210, 237-38; see also Verification
Relativism, xvii, 256, 280, 288; see also
Revolution, xiv, xv, 137, 139, 149, 194,
232-33, 303
Rhetoric, xii, xix, 26-27, 60, 228, 267
Russia, 256

Scholasticism, 228
Science, x, 23, 177-78, 186; see also Ideology,
Modernity, Technology
Self-consciousness, xvi, 237
Self-sufficiency, 200
Sex, 3, 6, 50; see also Love, Pleasure
Silence, 53-54, 58-59, 84, 114n27, 138,
236, 281
Skepticism, xvii, xix, xx, 152, 196, 232;
see also Zetetic
Slave, 140, 142, 145, 170, 189, 190,
232; see also Master
Society, xi, 160
Sophia, 297; see also Wisdom
Sophist(s), 42, 94, 266-67, 278-83,
286, 301; see also Wisdom
Sparta, 72
Stakhanovite, 138, 188; see also Mao Tse
State, 137-38, 141, 144-48, 152, 16064,
168-73; see also History
Statesman, 138
Stoicism, 232, 269, 272
Struggle, 232-33
Subjective certainty, xviii, 196, 200, 202,
204; see also Recognition, Verification
Suicide, 29, 34, 58, 117n51; see also Abdication
Technology, xi, xii, 23, 186, 194
Teleology, 237, 269, 278-79, 289
Temperance, 267; see also Gentleman, Moderation
Theistic, 152
Theology, 269; see also Christianity, God(s), Judaism, "Judeo-Christian, "
Thomism, 244
Totalitarianism, 23; see also Authoritarianism,
Tragedy, 275; see also Comedy
Transcendentalism, 232, 237
Truth, 27, 64-65, 255-56
Tyrannicide, 45

Universality, xiii; see also Homogeneity
Utopia, 137-39, 146-47, 164-65, 173, 175, 177, 187-88, 210, 232, 303
Value judgments, 23
Vanity, xviii, 233; see also Recognition
Verification, 160, 165; see also Recognition

Virtue, xxii, 8, 12, 20-21, 41, 61, 64, 69, 71-72, 75, 92-103, 182, 228-29, 267, 271, 295

War, 9, 52-53
Whole, 279, 292-93
Wisdom, xiii, xiv, xvi, xix, 37, 40-44, 85-86, 147, 150-51, 159, 174, 234, 236, 238, 262, 277-79, 283
Wise man, 33, 35, 38, 40-44, 67, 79, 83, 93, 147, 190
Work, 232-33

Zetetic, xii, 196; see also Skepticism

"Must reading for our time." -- Allan Bloom

On Tyranny is Leo Strauss's classic reading of Xenophon's dialogue, Hiero or Tyrannicus, in which the tyrant Hiero and the poet Simonides discuss the advantages and disadvantages of exercising tyranny. This edition includes a translation of the dialogue, Strauss's commentary, a critique of the commentary by the French philosopher Alexandre Kojeve, Strauss's restatement of his position in light of Kojeve's comments, and finally, the complete Strauss-Kojeve correspondence.

"Through [Strauss's] interpretation Xenophon appears to us as no longer the somewhat dull and flat author we know, but as a brilliant and subtle writer, an original and profound thinker. What is more, in interpreting this forgotten dialogue, Strauss lays bare great moral and political problems that are still ours."
-- Alexandre Kojeve, Critique

"On Tyranny is a complex and stimulating book with its 'parallel dialogue' made all the more striking since both participants take such unusual, highly provocative positions, and so force readers to face substantial problems in what are often wholly unfamiliar, even shocking ways."
-- Robert Pippin, History and Theory

"Every political scientist who tries to disentangle himself from the contemporary confusion over the problems of tyranny will be much indebted to this study and inevitably use it as a starting point."
-- Eric Voegelin, The Review of Politics

LEO STRAUSS (1899-1973) was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. VICTOR GOUREVITCH is the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy (emeritus) at Wesleyan University. MICHAEL ROTH is president of Wesleyan University.