Chapter

From Heresy to Nature: Leo Strauss’s History of Modern Epicureanism

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft

in Dynamic Reading

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199794959
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949694 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794959.003.0010

Series: Classical Presences

From Heresy to Nature: Leo Strauss’s History of Modern Epicureanism

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Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft, with his paper “From Heresy to Nature: Leo Strauss’s History of Modern Epicureanism,” traces the varying roles of the “Epicurean” throughout Strauss’s corpus. Wurgaft shows that, despite Strauss’s leanings towards and frequent association with Platonism, Epicureanism nonetheless plays a substantial role in defining his conception of philosophy. In particular, Strauss’s early reflection on Epicureanism as heretical religious critique seems to bear a certain attraction (if only by implication) for Strauss, who denies philosophers the ability to submit to the “salutary law” of religion. At the heart of this attraction lies a particular cross-linguistic pun: apikores (Hbr. “heretic”) phonetically (and perhaps etymologically) suggests Epicurean.

Keywords: Leo Strauss; Epicurus; philosophy of religion; Judaism; heresy

Chapter.  14729 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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