The political philosopher Leo Strauss has been credited by conservatives with the recovery of the tradition of political philosophy stretching back to Plato. Among Strauss's most enduring legacies is a strongly negative assessment of Nietzsche as the modern philosopher most at odds with that tradition and most responsible for the sins of 20th-century culture - relativism, godlessness, nihilism, and the breakdown of family values. In fact, this apparent denunciation has become so closely associated with Strauss that it is often seen as the very core of his thought. In this volume, the Nietzsche scholar, the author, offers an assessment of the Strauss-Nietzsche connection. Lampert undertakes an examination of the key Straussian essay, "Note on the Plan of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil." He shows that this essay, written towards the end of Strauss's life and placed at the centre of his final work, reveals an affinity for and debt to Nietzsche greater than Strauss's followers allow.
Lampert argues that the essay clarifies Nietzsche's conception of nature and of human spiritual history and demonstrates the logical relationship between the essential themes in Nietzsche's thought - the will to power and the eternal return.
Laurence Lampert is emeritus professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Abbreviations Introduction Ch. 1: Strauss's Study of Nietzsche Ch. 2: How Leo Strauss Read Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil Ch. 3: Nietzsche's Place in the History of Platonic Political Philosophy Ch. 4: Strauss's Place in the History of Platonic Political Philosophy Ch. 5: The Nietzschean Enlightenment Appendix: "Note on the Plan of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil" Leo Strauss Works Cited Index to Strauss's "Note on the Plan of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil" General Index