This note in the Wall Street Journal
is important for those who may consider themselves serious students of political philosophy: It's a reminder that the Leo Strauss Center at The University of Chicago is uploading to its website written and audio recordings of Strauss's
lectures, many made by graduate students in the 1950s and 60s.
Eventually, students world-wide will be able to take courses by
Strauss, free of charge. This is significant on many levels, the most important one for me has to do with learning and teaching as the search for truth, as an affair of love. Students loved Strauss. He took the human mind seriously, as he did them. Everyone has always said that Strauss was fine teacher in a classroom (we have only had books and some transcripts of classes until now); now we will have the voice and the conversation, the hint and the giggle, and the blunt talk and the persuasive silences. It would seem that in this case techne is on the side of truth, the human questions, for the sake of which we do what we do. It will be good to hear him talk.
"Listening to the tapes, you hear Strauss's different approach [than that of historicism]. He
believes that thought--at least by great minds--can transcend its time
and place. In other words, he believes there is such a thing as truth.
of cataloging philosophers for rows of classroom note takers, he throws
students into an ongoing argument: How should we live? He forces
students not merely to study political philosophy but to engage in it."