Ancient and Modern Tension (in Philosophy)

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Some notes by Clifford Bates on the Tension of Ancient and Modern Philosophy. It reflection on the teaching of Leo Strauss
  Is there an Ancient and Modern tension?So much of the scholarship and the scholars do not seem to see such a disagreement. Rather they see the Ancients world within the horizon of contemporary science as Socrates/pre-Socrates thinks as the intellectual precursor of modern rationality. hey see the history is thought as a single continuality. !et the earlier stages erred in arenas only if due to lack of either perspecti#es or insights $or tools which opened up new  perspecti#es and insights%. !et if one looks at and reads the thinkers/philosophers who founded modern science $&escartes 'o((es Machia#elli )alileo *acon%. +e find them at odds with and attacking the dominant Aristotlean/Scholaristic science or Socratic/,latonic understanding of the cosmos or the whole of human eistence. he early modern thinkers if you read them are engaged in a proect to (reak away from the older modes of science and knowledge and gi#e to man new modes and orders modes and orders that allow men to master the uni#erse and impro#e the human estate.aken on the terms of what the founders of modern science themsel#es say they see themsel#es e#ol#ed in a (reak away from a dominant and what they (elie#e mistaken misguided and unworka(le #iew of science that frustrates rather than assists man in their attempt to impro#e their condition.So why do the scholars and much of the scholarship on the early modern thinkers fails to see this (reak as well? +hy are they (lind to it?hey are (lind (ecause modern science and with it modern rationality itself although resting on the disco#ery and re#olution of the early modern thinkers they are more engaged in furthering that proect rather than understanding it. he successor of the modern proect continue with the proect of controlling nature and shaping the material world of mans eistence $#ia technology% to impro#e the human condition. hey are no so much concerned with understanding what their proect is and what is (ased upon. Rather it is concerned with furthering that proect. In fact in the sciences one rarely finds scholars knowledgea(le of authors of the thoughts and the true srcins and meaning of the ideas/concepts that those authors held that much of their sciences rest. +hat they know of such men or such things is what they learned in the tet(ooks that shaped their knowledge and what are in those tet(ooks are little more than a form of intellectual  pa(ulum that can (e easily digested in their undergraduate studies0especially in their  philosophy of sciences classes. 'eideggers gift is the destruction of the tradition that so masks and hides the sources and srcins and meaning of the #ery sciences and their key concepts themsel#es. 'eideggers destruction leads to a redisco#ery of the sources of that tradition on their own terms. 1urrent scientists and scholars are #ery much like dwarfs on the shoulder of giants unaware of the giants as the predecessors whom without they would not see or  understand what they understand. hey seem ignorant of that they stand on the giants shoulders.he ancient and modern dispute so famously reclaimed (y 2eo Strauss and his students and their school is all too often dismissed (y scholars mostly out of em(arrassment and refuse to forget what their teachers and the great tet(ook authors told them a(out what great minds said and thought. hey trust the authorities that ha#e shaped their knowledge rather than go (ack to the tets themsel#es on their own and on their own try to come to terms with those tets on their own terms (eing to those tets $reading them that is% what the tets themsel#es demand or re3uire. o (e a(le to do this to a tet re3uires one to  (ecome na4#e again and do not (ring assumptions to the tet. 5nless one does this one will only see what one has (een taught $or told% to see (y others.
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