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Recovering Reason

Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle

Edited by Timothy Burns - Contributions by Peter J. Ahrensdorf; Arlene Saxonhouse; Steven Forde; Paul A. Rahe; Michael Zuckert; Devin Stauffer; David Leibowitz; Robert Goldberg; Christopher Bruell; Linda R. Rabieh; Richard S. Ruderman; Christopher Baldwin; J Judd Owen; Waller R.Newell; Nathan Tarcov; Ross J. Corbett; Clifford Orwin; John W. Danford; Heinrich Meier; Fred Baumann; Robert C. Bartlett; Ralph Lerner; Bryan-Paul Frost; Laurie Fendrich; Donald Kagan; H Donald Forbes and Norman Doidge

Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle is a collection of essays composed by students and friends of Thomas L. Pangle to honor his seminal work and outstanding guidance in the study of political philosophy. The contributors write in awareness that a loss of confidence in reason similar to the one we are witnessing today— when the desirability and possibility of guiding our lives by the enduring, normative truths that reason attempts to discover —had occurred at the time of Socrates, who realized that the existence of genuine limits to what is knowable by reason opened up the possibility that our world, instead of having the kind of intelligible necessities that science seeks to uncover, could be the work of mysterious, creative gods or god—as devoutly religious citizens claimed it to be. His grasp of this great difficulty led him and his students—ancient and medieval—to attempt to ground the life of reason by means of a pre-philosophic, preliminary investigation of political-moral questions. Modern political philosophers later attempted to ground the life of reason in a considerably different, "enlightening" way. These essays examine both of these attempts to answer the question of the right life for human beings, as those attempts are introduced and elaborated in the work of thinkers from Homer and Thucydides to Nietzsche and Charles Taylor. The volume is divided into five parts. The essays in Part I examine the moral-political problems through which Socrates came to ground the philosophic life as those problems first appeared in earlier, pre-Socratic writers. Part II explores those problems in their Platonic and Aristotelian presentations, and in the work of two medieval thinkers. Part III addresses the thought of Leo Strauss, the thinker upon whose work the recovery of both ancient and modern political philosophy in our day has been made possible. Part IV explicates the writings of modern political philosophers and thinkers with a view to uncovering their alternative approach « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 502Size: 6 3/4 x 9 3/4
978-0-7391-4631-6 • Hardback • August 2010 • $126.00 • (£85.00)
978-0-7391-4632-3 • Paperback • August 2010 • $51.99 • (£34.95)
Timothy Burns is an associate professor of government at Skidmore College.
1 Acknowledgements
2 Introduction
Part 3 I: Pre-Socratic Thought
Chapter 4 1. Homer and the Foundation of Classical Civilization
Chapter 5 2. Prometheus and Oedipus: The Arrogance and Limits of Art and Reason
Chapter 6 3. What War Discloses
Chapter 7 4. The Classical Rationalism of Thucydides
Chapter 8 5. The Aristophanic Question
Chapter 9 6. On the Power of Rhetoric: Gorgias and the Philosophic Foundation of Sophistry
Part 10 Part II: Socratic Rationalism
Chapter 11 7. Socrates and the Sophists
Chapter 12 8. Thrasymachus' Blush
Chapter 13 9. Civic or Human Virtue in Aristotle's Politics
Chapter 14 10. Happiness in the Perspective of Philosophy
Chapter 15 11. The Problem of Providence in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed
Chapter 16 12. A Slingshot Recoils: The Critique of Philosophy in Halevi's Kuzari
Part 17 III: On Leo Strauss
Chapter 18 13. Thinking Nietzsche Through and Strauss's Recovery of Classical Political Philosophy
Chapter 19 14. John Toland and Leo Strauss on Esoteric Writing
Chapter 20 15. Did Plato Believe in his own Metaphysics? And Did Strauss?
Chapter 21 16. Leo Strauss on Machiavelli and the Origins of Modernity
Part 22 IV: Modern Political Philosophy
Chapter 23 17. Aristotelian Kingship and Lockean Prerogative
Chapter 24 18. "For Which Human Nature Can Never Be Too Grateful": Montesquieu as the Heir of Christianity
Chapter 25 19. "They Flock Into Cities; Their Situation is Less Precarious": David Hume and the Intellectual Origins of the American Founding
Chapter 26 20. Rousseau on the Philosophic Life Les rêveries du Promeneur Solitaire
Chapter 27 21. Schiller on Aesthetic Education: Radicalization by Return
Chapter 28 22. Stendhal and the Promise of Happiness: An Introduction to the Charterhouse of Parma
Chapter 29 23. Tocqueville's Burke, or Story as History
Part 30 V: Contemporary Issues and political philosophy
Chapter 31 24. Corrupting or Edifying? Cato the Elder and Cicero on the Role of Philosophy in Roman Civic Education
Chapter 32 25. Abstract Painting and the Rule of Doubt
Chapter 33 26. Kissinger and Thucydides
Chapter 34 27. Charles Taylor as a Theorist of MulticulturalismRecognition/Authenticity
Chapter 35 28. Neuroplasticity, Perfectibility, and Three Ideas of Nature
36 Bibliography of the Published Work of Thomas L. Pangle
37 Index
38 About the Contributors
The best way to honor a great scholar is with more great scholarship. Over the last few decades, Thomas Pangle has been one of the most illuminating and prolific commentators on the history of political philosophy. As a teacher, he has educated several generations of wonderfully talented students. The discipline of political philosophy has been hugely enriched both by Pangle's own work, and by the work he has helped inspire in students and colleagues-as this excellent volume so powerfully testifies.
Ronald Beiner, University of Toronto

An extraordinarily fine collection of essays—wide-ranging, yet coherent and profound—that pays fitting tribute to the work of Thomas Pangle, one of the truly great scholars and teachers of our generation.
Arthur Melzer, Michigan State University

This bold and spirited volume provides a vivid tribute to the teaching of Thomas Pangle. Over a long career at Yale, Toronto, and now the University of Texas, Pangle has attracted students devoted to carrying on the legacy of his teacher, Leo Strauss, and bringing it to its current height of influence. Pangle's own writings, whether on Plato dialogues, Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws, or the Hebrew Bible have contributed both to our understanding of these texts and to the esteem in which Strauss's legacy is held today.
Steven B Smith, Yale University