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Philosophical Thought

Esoteric doctrine

Mishurin Aleksander Nikolaevich

PhD in Politics

Researcher, Department of the History of Political Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences

119991, Russia, Moskovskaya oblast', g. Moscow, ul. Goncharnaya, 12 stroenie 1, kab. 411

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Abstract: This research by the renowned American political philosopher Leo Strauss is dedicated to the preservation of tradition of the division of philosophical texts into esoteric (public) and esoteric (hidden) within the work of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. This work continues the cycle of articles on the questions of exo- and esoteric, introducing new criteria of distinction between them, and therefore – renewing and enriching the “rules of careful reading” advanced by Strauss in the “Persecution and the Art of Writing” and the “On a Forgotten Kind of Writing”, as well as in some of his other works. Strauss attempts to comprehend the cause that forced the researches of XIX century, including such prominent researcher of antiquity as Friedrich Schleiermacher, to refuse the traditional division of philosophical teachings into exo- and esoteric. He finds it in the liberalization of the “modern” views – in the thought on almightiness of reason that has infiltrated the ranks of historians of philosophy, and the resulting equality between the cognitive abilities of all people. The division into exo- and esoteric initially proposes division of audience of the philosophical text into readers capable to comprehend its meaning and capable of such effort. The antique philosophy, followed by Lessing, supports this division; the modern philosophy rejects it.  

Keywords: political philosophy, the art of writing, persecution, Socrates, Lessing, exoteric teaching, esoteric teaching, Leo Strauss, hermeneutics, modernity
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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