Men on Horseback

Leo Strauss on "The Argument and the Action of Plato’s Laws"

  • Clemens Kauffmann Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Keywords: Plato, Laws, Leo Strauss, Political Philosophy, Hermeneutics


The movement of thought in Leo Strauss's Argument and the Action of Plato’s Laws allows one basic motif of the engagement with Plato to be rendered visible: the significance of the human body as presupposition and condition of politics and lawgiving. In the present treatment the political significance of the body in Strauss’s engagement with Plato allows the significance of embodiment to emerge clearly. Strauss's hermeneutic approach to the Laws is developed (in section 2). The options of “philosophic politics” that Strauss plays out with the example of Plato’s Laws is developed in section 3. Finally, from this point the question of power is developed. Namely, with the question of power, the problem is pushed to the level of the relation between law and reason. What possibilities are there for philosophic politics to decide the question of power for itself?

Author Biography

Clemens Kauffmann, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Clemens Kauffmann (1961-2020) was Professor of Political Philosophy and the History of Ideas at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.  His books included Ontologie und Handlung: Untersuchungen zu Platons Handlungstheorie (1993), Strauss und Rawls: Das philosophische Dilemma der Politik (2000), and Leo Strauss zur Einführung (1997).

How to Cite
Kauffmann, C. (2021). Men on Horseback. The Political Science Reviewer, 45(2), 389-426. Retrieved from