Between Philosophy and Prophecy -

To borrow a Nietzschean phrase, there are “a thousand and one” ways to read Nietzsche. Heinrich Meier, a well-known German scholar of political philosophy, takes a Straussian path, the way of reading pioneered and practiced by the late Leo Strauss (1899-1973). This path involves several characteristic features. It approaches texts—the texts of “the greatest authors” at least—with the greatest respect and it lavishes enormous care on them. This exegetical care ranges from word counts and thematic analysis to closely following the action of a text. It studiously avoids “proof-texting,” i.e., lifting a sentence or passage out of its context and declaring it “the meaning” of the text. The entire text must be considered, the possibility of dialectical development entertained. The first responsibility of the exegete is alert docility. This is the golden path to insight and understanding.


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