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Progressive Minds, Conservative Politics

Leo Strauss's Later Writings on Maimonides

Aryeh Tepper

Publication Year: 2013

Compelling account of Strauss's mature Maimonidean writings.

Published by: State University of New York Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents, Quote

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pp. ix-x

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pp. 1-22

This book is a study of Leo Strauss’s later writings on Maimonides. In light of the many works and articles that have been written on Strauss, the reader might wonder if another work is really necessary. But the remarkable fact is that while much has been written about Strauss, scholars—not to mention journalists and intellectuals—by and large ignore his later writings...

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1. The Guide of the Perplexed as a Jewish Book

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pp. 23-130

This chapter analyzes “How To Begin To Study The Guide of the Perplexed” and explores the Jewish dimension of Strauss’s essay. My intention here is to read “How To Begin To Study” in light of the Guide, only briefly touching on the general political‑philosophical issues that serve as context for Strauss’s comments...

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2. The Guide of the Perplexed as a Work of Classical Political Philosophy

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pp. 131-152

Leo Strauss republished “How To Begin To Study The Guide of the Perplexed” in full in his 1968 collection of essays, Liberalism Ancient and Modern (LAM).1 This chapter treats “How To Begin To Study” in the context of LAM, and it is divided into three parts. The first part analyzes the structure...

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3. Torah and Philosophy in The Book of Knowledge

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pp. 153-176

Leo Strauss’s final statement regarding the Mishneh Torah, “Notes on Maimonides’ Book of Knowledge,” first appeared in 1967 in Studies in Mysticism and Religion Presented to Gershom G. Scholem. The twelve‑page essay appeared again as chapter 9 in the posthumously published Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy (SIPPP). Although Strauss collected the articles that...

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pp. 177-184

In this concluding chapter I delineate Strauss’s Maimonidean use of “progress” as an ambiguous term in the service of an anti‑Hegelian end. Before that, however, I outline Strauss’s development in his study of Maimonides and gather some of the more important ideas that emerged in his later writings. In light of these ideas I analyze the character of Strauss’s final phase...

Appendix I. The Preface to the 1963 Edition of the Guide, and Political Regimes

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pp. 185-192

Appendix II. New Worlds of Power: Maimonides, John Coltrane, and Rabbi Akiva

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pp. 193-198


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pp. 199-232


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pp. 233-240


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pp. 241-246

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781438448459
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438448435

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 868930175
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Progressive Minds, Conservative Politics

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Subject Headings

  • Judaism.
  • Jewish philosophy.
  • Maimonides, Moses, 1135-1204. Dalālat al-ḥāʼirīn.
  • Philosophy, Medieval.
  • Strauss, Leo.
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