From “The Kingdom of Darkness” to “the Pit Beneath the Cave”: Leo Strauss’s Critique of “Steady Progress” and the Contemporary Ideal of Sustainable Development
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In the Persecution and the Art of Writing (1952) Leo Strauss criticized the replace-ment of philosophical enquiry in youth education with history of philosophy and of philosophers with specialists in certain scientific fields. Contemporary calls for a “glob-al social contract” (Philippe Moreau Defarges, 2010) emphasize the need of reforming international institutions and the importance of a youth education “for” sustainable development (UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005–2014). Philosophical voices decry the ever-growing importance of institutions at the expense of individual freedom of expression and action. The article explores common points and differences between our ideal of sustainable development and the Straussian ideal of creative philosophical thought.
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