Natural Right and State of Exception In Leo Strauss

Miguel Vatter

in Crediting God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233199
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823233212 | DOI:
Natural Right and State of               Exception In Leo Strauss

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This chapter takes up the question of the state of exception from the perspective of natural justice (equity), as this is presented in Strauss's reading of classical natural right. It questions the reading according to which Strauss, as opposed to Schmitt, countenances the possibility that a just politics must rest exclusively on nature and on its philosophical knowledge without relation to divine revelation. Instead, Strauss ultimately offers a comprehensive critique of the Western tradition of natural right, in both its ancient and modern guises, as a tradition of exception to the law, which ultimately reduces justice to power. The countervailing tradition would have to be sought in another Enlightenment, no longer reducible to a doctrine of natural right, to be found in the political philosophy that emerges from medieval Jewish and Arabic thought.

Keywords: natural right; just politics; state of exception; Strauss; Schmitt

Chapter.  7358 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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