Yet historians still regard Edward's social theory as either nonexistent or underdeveloped. Gerald McDermott demonstrates, to the contrary, that Edwards was very interested in the social and political affairs of his day, and commented upon them at length in his unpublished sermons and private notebooks. McDermott shows that Edwards thought deeply about New England's status under God, America's role in the millennium, the nature and usefulness of patriotism, the duties of a good magistrate, and what it means to be a good citizen. In fact, his sociopolitical theory was at least as fully developed as that of his better-known contemporaries and more progressive in its attitude toward citizens' rights.
Using unpublished manuscripts that have previously been largely ignored, McDermott also convincingly challenges generations of scholarly opinion about Edwards. The Edwards who emerges from this nook is both less provincial and more this-worldly than the persona he is commonly given.
This book, originally published in 1986, employs Augustine’s method of introspection, and argues that, as a philosopher, Augustine can teach the modern mind how to detect the reality of such a spiritual subject in and through basic human acts and faculties, such as imagination, memory, knowledge, free-will and self-knowledge. It presents a critical dialogue with various materialistic anthropologies directly addressed by Augustine himself, or those which have arisen at later periods, including epiphenomenalism, mind-brain identity theory, Marxism and others.
Strauss's autobiographical Preface, traces his dilemmas as a young liberal intellectual in Germany during the Weimar Republic, as a scholar in exile, and as a leader of American philosophical thought.
"[For] those interested in Strauss the political philosopher, and also those who doubt whether we have achieved the 'final solution' in respect to either the character of political science or the problem of the relation of religion to the state." —Journal of Politics
"A substantial contribution to the thinking of all those interested in the ageless problems of faith, revelation, and reason." —Kirkus Reviews
Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Chicago. His contributions to political science include The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, The City and the Man, What is Political Philosophy?, and Liberalism Ancient and Modern.