Schultz, "Mr. Smith Does Not Go to Washington."

Schultz, Bart. "Mr. Smith Does Not Go to Washington." Philosophy of Social Sciences. 37.3 (2007): 366-386.

書評。シュルツはシカゴ大で哲学専攻のsenior lecturer。シジウィックや功利主義に関する著作あり。

Ironically, his Strauss appears as very much a creature of his time, of twentieth century struggles with Zionism and Jewish identity, of cold war thinking about Nazism and Communism. Sadly, his Strauss appears to have unwittingly generated a confederacy of political dunces who have been more than willing to squander his intellectual legacy for short-term political gain. (p.370)

...Smith's maneuvers...ultimately seem evasive about the very truth that his book goes far to confirm --- namely, that Strauss's works have been overwhelmingly an attraction... for warmongering rightwingers... Hazardous as it is to try to make sense of politics in such intellectual terms, it will surely strike many of Smith's non-Straussian readers that his Strauss still looks like a political and philosophical reactionary, a deeply elitist theorist with very little appeal for anyone seriously concerned to advance a genuinely critical public sphere, meaningful democracy, global, cosmopolitan justice (including justice for women, gays, and lesbians), sane environmentalism, or other causes associated with critics of neoconservatism. (p.371)
Thus, for all of Smith's disclaimers about there being an "essential" Strauss, he comes pretty close to finding one: "The core of Strauss's thought is the famous 'theologico-political problem,' a problem, he said, that 'remained the theme of my studies' from very early on" (p.373)
スミスは何も、読み手の関心とニーズがそれぞれ異なり、どれもこれもが正当だと論じているわけではない。(それはシュトラウスが何よりも嫌った価値相対主義につながる姿勢であろう) 彼は、(シュトラウスが読み解く)プラトン対話篇と同様、いかなる関心を抱いてテクストを読み始めても、最終的には「神学-政治問題」という重要な一点に帰着すると論じているのであって、シュルツの応答は正鵠を射ていない。
"There are no ultimate answers in the Straussian universe; rather, there is marked disagreement even among the greatest authorities over their answers to the fundamental problems. All that is required in facing these problems is an open mind and a willingness to listen and weigh the alternatives." (RLS, pp.105-06)... / Still, Smith's account leaves it something of a puzzle how the demand for an "open mind" is to be spelled out, and whether Strauss is really providing much of an alternative. (p.375)

"... Judaism would thus come to serve the same function as a Platonic noble lie or a Machiavellian civil religion intended to ensure a sense of Jewish pride and self-respect, but void of truth content or redemptive grace." "This essay," he gracefully admits, "does not even attempt to answer the question of which of these alternatives may be correct." (RLS, pp. 63-64) / That last sentence applies to the entire book---Smith does not show why one should not opt for intellectual probity. Neither did Strauss. (p.377)
That bit of probity more or less says it all, or rather, concedes it all, to those critics who have noted the perverse role the Straussians have almost always played in the culture wars. Smith, like Tanguay and so many others, time and again innocently owns up to the very points that the responsible critics of Straussianism have criticized, though he, again like the others, scarcely recognizes the force of the criticisms. (p.378)
How different is this, really, from Peter Singer's claims in The President of Good and Evil: Questioning the Ethics of George W. Bush (Singer, 2004, p.220): Strauss held "that there is one kind of truth for the masses, and another for the philosophers---that is, for those in the know." (p.379)
Rather than trying to diminish the role of religion or encourage clear, critical thinking about such things as was, terrorism, racism, torture, etc., the "political action of philosophy---to the extent that philosophy admits of a public side---consists in various fishing expeditions for new or potential philosophers. ...For the rest, it is sufficient to satisfy the city that philosophers are not atheists, that they revere the gods the city worships, and the they are good citizens." (RLS, p.150) (p.379)
Evidently, for Strauss, the philosopher is and must be alienated; this is a necessary condition rather than a tragedy. But, while "resisting the 'collective egoisms’ bred of politics and attachments to one's own city, the philosopher is necessarily attracted to people of a certain sort, namely those in possession of a well-ordered soul." Alas, as Smith also concedes, when asked what a well-ordered soul actually is, "Strauss's answer ... seems to be 'we know one when we see it’" (RLS, p.149). In this way, it is plain that Strauss and the Straussians often sound more like the absolutist Plato than the skeptical one, that Isaiah Berlin was right to complain that they "believe in absolute good and evil, right and wrong, directly perceived by means of a kind of a priori vision, a metaphysical eye" (Berlin, 1991, p. 32). And it is clear enough that speaking truth to power, cheerfully dying for one's philosophizing, is not the model here. Something much more comfortable for academics is being offered up.
...there is no indication here whatsoever that the Straussian school might be able to learn something from work in gender and gay studies, even from the brilliant work of Sir Kenneth Dover, Martha Nussbaum, Froma Zeitlin, Eva Keuls, or Michel Foucault on Greek sexuality. No mention, either, of the vital work on critical race theory or postcolonialism that has done so much to unmask both ancient and modern forms of racism and prejudice, including the bigotries of Strauss's hero, Churchill. Such developments in intellectual probity, which have succeeded in sowing doubt after doubt about the supposed "permanencies of human nature," have almost invariably met with disapproval from academic Straussians, when paper training the "qualified sons." They are much too busy struggling to keep "awake the recollection of the immense loss sustained by mankind" (RLS, p.155) to acknowledge the mixed blessings of Aristotle on butterfly minds and barbarians. The anti-feminist rant is a virtual trademark of Straussianism, of whatever form. (p.380)

And perhaps even more puzzlingly, for those with limited familiarity with the Straussian debates, there is, despite all the talk about "philosophy" and "reason," very little genuine engagement here with the type of philosophical argument (or dialectical "leading") characteristic of academic philosophy departments, which Smith seems rather to disdain... There is more about this in five pages of Donald Davidson's Truth and Predication (Davidson, 2005) than in the whole of Smith's book, which simply repeats over and again that the "doctrine of the Ideas is presented by Strauss not as a body of moral absolutes immune to criticism, but as a set of permanent questions or problems that each person must think through for themselves." (RLS, p.105). If one wants to argue the case against relativism, one is much better served by Paul Boghossian's diminutive Fear of Knowledge (Boghossian, 2006) than by Strauss's entire canon. (p.381)

Fortunately, we are free to opt for those better versions of cosmopolitanism that seem a lot more relevant to a world teeming with different identities and threatened by global problems, a world that obviously has far more evils than it can long endure. If it is "against nature" to resist collective suicide, nature needs help. (p.384)
In fact, Smith's contempt for and ignorance of contemporary philosophy might be construed as a genuinely Straussian attitude---Strauss himself was not at all averse to academic politics (which as Smith acknowledges, he seems to have deemed the ultimate politics), and to wielding his influence in decidedly antiphilosophical ways, as when he conspired to keep Karl Popper out of the American academy. (p.380-381)
フェーゲリンと結託して、ポパーをアメリカの学術・教育機関から締め出そうとした件について。詳しくは、Jarvie, Ian, and Sandra Pralong, eds. Popper's Open Society After Fifty Years: the Continuing Relevance of Karl Popper. London: Routledge, 1999.

posted by ta at 04:51| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | シュトラウス文献 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
お名前: [必須入力]



コメント: [必須入力]

認証コード: [必須入力]