Leo Strauss, Max Weber, and the Scientific Study of Politics
Behnegar's impressive book argues that Strauss was not against the scientific study of politics, but he did reject the idea that it could be built upon political science's unexamined assumption of the distinction between facts and values. Max Weber was, for Strauss, the most profound exponent of values relativism in social science, and Behnegar's explication artfully illuminates Strauss's critique of Weber's belief in the ultimate insolubility of all value conflicts.
Strauss's polemic against contemporary political science was meant to make clear the contradiction between its claim of value-free premises and its commitment to democratic principles. As Behnegar ultimately shows, values—the ethical component lacking in a contemporary social science—are essential to Strauss's project of constructing a genuinely scientific study of politics.
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1: Political Science in the Age of Relativism
Chapter 2: Political Philosophy in the Age of Relativism
Chapter 3: The Fact-Value Distinction and Nihilism
Chapter 4: The Fact-Value Distinction and Social Science as a Theoretical Pursuit
Chapter 5: The Problem of Social Science
Chapter 6: Strauss's Polemic Against the New Political Science
Chapter 7: The New Political Science
Chapter 8: The Revolt Against the Old Political Science
Chapter 9: The New Political Science and Liberal Democracy