In this groundbreaking work, Richard L. Velkley examines the complex philosophical relationship between Martin Heidegger and Leo Strauss. Velkley argues that both thinkers provide searching analyses of the philosophical traditions origins in radical questioning. For Heidegger and Strauss, the recovery of the original premises of philosophy cannot be separated from rethinking the very possibility of genuine philosophizing.
Common views of the influence of Heideggers thought on Strauss suggest that, after being inspired early on by Heideggers dismantling of the philosophical tradition, Strauss took a wholly separate path, spurning modernity and pursuing instead a renewal of Socratic political philosophy. Velkley rejects this reading and maintains that Strausss engagement with the challenges posed by Heideggeras well as by modern philosophy in generalformed a crucial and enduring framework for his lifelong philosophical project. More than an intellectual biography or a mere charting of influence, Heidegger, Strauss, and the Premises of Philosophy is a profound consideration of these two philosophers reflections on the roots, meaning, and fate of Western rationalism.