Leo Strauss Quotes

Enjoy the top 52 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Leo Strauss.

Leo Strauss Quotes

The complacency engendered by the tranquil possession of a God-given truth.
— Leo Strauss —

One cannot refute what one has not thoroughly understood.

— Leo Strauss

But what is the core of the political? Men killing men on the largest scale in broad daylight and with the greatest serenity.

— Leo Strauss

For try as one may to expel nature with a hayfork, it will always come back.

— Leo Strauss

Existentialism is a 'movement' which like all such movements has a flabby periphery and a hard center. That center is the thought of Heidegger.

— Leo Strauss

The Prussian state is, for Hegel, the model most akin to the rational state because it represents, thanks both to the Protestant religion and the authority of the monarchy, a synthesis between the revolutionary exigencies of principles and the traditional exigencies of organization.

— Leo Strauss

The complacency engendered by the tranquil possession of a God-given truth.

— Leo Strauss

Life is too short to live with any but the greatest books.

— Leo Strauss

If the highest things are unknowable, then the highest capacity or virtue of man cannot be theoretical wisdom.

— Leo Strauss

I cannot know anything of which there is and can be only one.

— Leo Strauss

The silence of a wise man is always meaningful.

— Leo Strauss

According to our social science, we can be or become wise in all matters of secondary importance, but we have to be resigned to utter ignorance in the most important respect: we cannot have any knowledge regarding the ultimate principles of our choices, i.e. regarding their soundness or unsoundness ... We are then in the position of beings who are sane and sober when engaged in trivial business and who gamble like madmen when confronted with serious issues.

— Leo Strauss

Liberal education, which consists in the constant intercourse with the greatest minds, is a training in the highest form of modesty ... It is at the same time a training in boldness ... It demands from us the boldness implied in the resolve to regard the accepted views as mere opinions, or to regard the average opinions as extreme opinions which are at least as likely to be wrong as the most strange or least popular opinions

— Leo Strauss

History teaches us that a given view has been abandoned in favor of another by all men, or by all competent men, or perhaps by only the most vocal men; it does not teach us whether the change was sound or whether the rejected view deserved to be rejected. Only an impartial analysis of the view in question, an analysis that is not dazzled by the victory or stunned by the defeat of the adherents of the view concerned could teach us anything regarding the worth of the view and hence regarding the meaning of the historical change.

— Leo Strauss

Our understanding of the thought of the past is liable to be the more adequate, the less the historian is convinced of the superiority of his own point of view, or the more he is prepared to admit the possibility that he may have to learn something, not merely about the thinkers of the past, but from them.

— Leo Strauss

The emancipation of the scholars and scientists from philosophy is according to [Nietzsche] only a part of the democratic movement, i.e. of the emancipation of the low from subordination to the high ... The plebeian character of the contemporary scholar or scientist is due to the fact that he has no reverence for himself.

— Leo Strauss

Men are constantly attracted and deluded by two opposite charms: the charm of competence which is engendered by mathematics and everything akin to mathematics, and the charm of humble awe, which is engendered by meditation on the human soul and its experiences. Philosophy is characterized by the gentle, if firm, refusal to succumb to either charm.

— Leo Strauss

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