Leo Strauss and Kelsen on Aristotle and the Question of Natural Right – School of Humanities Leo Strauss and Kelsen on Aristotle and the Question of Natural Right – School of Humanities

Leo Strauss and Kelsen on Aristotle and the Question of Natural Right

Leo Strauss and Kelsen on Aristotle and the Question of Natural Right

Discussants:

  • Miguel Vatter (Deakin University)

Strauss’s thought is notoriously complicated to decipher. One of the best guiding threads to his thinking is provided by the way in which he understands the role of Aristotle’s Politics and Nicomachean Ethics within “Platonic political philosophy.” The latter is a technical term of art coined by Strauss which covers what he also calls “classical natural right” and in other places refers to as the problem of the difference between “legality and legitimacy”.

It is now widely assumed that Strauss, around the time of his emigration to the United States, came to believe that the works of Xenophon grant the best approximation to what is at stake in the problem of Platonic political philosophy.

Despite the importance of Xenophon for Strauss, in this talk I try to show that Aristotle’s political thought plays a crucial supporting role throughout the development of Strauss’s discourse on Platonic political philosophy; and, perhaps, Strauss’s reading of Aristotle is ultimately more telling about the meaning of this discourse than his readings of Xenophon. The central issue here is Strauss’s discussion of the relation between justice and law in Aristotle’s political and ethical thought.

This is an extremely complicated and controversial topic, and Strauss’s treatment remains elusive, in part because he never explicitly acknowledges the tradition of scholarship on this very issue, and in part because his pronouncements on this topic do not directly refer to any Aristotelian texts. In my talk I shall try to fill in some of the gaps on both accounts, and in particular by contextualizing Strauss’s reading of Aristotle on justice in reference to Kelsen’s own interpretations of Aristotelian natural right.

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Where
On Zoom

When

  • Wed, October 12: 10am–11:30am (Sydney)

The Zoom link
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The Critical Antiquities Workshop is an initiative of the Critical Antiquities Network (CAN) at the University of Sydney. CAN, co-directed by Ben Brown and Tristan Bradshaw, connects scholars working at the intersection of ancient traditions and contemporary critical theory. 

Classics and Ancient History is part of the School of Humanities at the University of Sydney.

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Date

Oct 12 2022

Time

AEDT. UTC/GMT +10
10:00 am - 11:30 am

Location

Online

Other Organizers

Classics and Ancient History
Website
http:// sydney.edu.au/arts/classics-ancient-history 
University of Wollongong

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