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The Beijing Lectures: Strauss, Plato, Nietzsche

The Beijing Lectures: Strauss, Plato, Nietzsche

Laurence Lampert

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211-page paperback / 5.5" x 8.5" / ISBN 9781589881907
Publication Date: 7/2/2024 (now shipping)

Six essays from a well-known Nietzsche scholar on Strauss, Plato, Nietzsche, and the history of western philosophy

In The Beijing Lectures: Strauss, Plato, Nietzsche, Laurence Lampert presents what he calls the new history of philosophy made possible by Friedrich Nietzsche. This “new” history takes seriously Nietzsche’s claim that “the greatest thoughts are the greatest events.” To put it even more assertively that “genuine philosophers are commanders and legislators.”

Beginning with Leo Strauss and how his recovery of the philosophers’ art of writing can change our way of viewing the history of philosophy, Lampert then focuses on six Platonic dialogues—Protagoras, Charmides, Republic, Phaedo, Parmenides, and Symposium. These, he believes, mark a turning point in Western history and set the pattern for the whole Western philosophic tradition. In the third and final section, Lampert considers Nietzsche in order to show how he revolutionized our understanding of the world, and in particular why it is appropriate to view him as “the first comprehensive ecological philosopher.”

“In this brilliant analysis of the coming to be of Strauss, Plato, and Nietzsche as philosophers and poets, Laurence Lampert reaches new heights and plumbs new depths. An extraordinarily rich and insightful book, thoughtful and beautiful in its execution. A masterful performance by a thinker and author at the height of his power.”
—Michael Allen Gillespie, author of Nietzsche’s Final Teaching

The Beijing Lectures: Strauss, Plato, Nietzsche is a subtle and illuminating discussion of the three thinkers, of the connection between philosophical understanding and philosophers’ political-theological activity, and of the art of writing that is central to this activity.”
—Mark Blitz, author of Heidegger’s Being and Time and the Possibility of Political Philosophy

The Beijing Lectures: Strauss, Plato, Nietzsche presents a wonderfully vivid, illuminating, and thought-provoking account of three great philosophers, with special attention to their philosophic art of writing and to the philosophic lives they led. What makes this book especially thrilling is that it is a monument to a most significant intellectual event, what Lampert calls 'the best intellectual experience of my life': the encounter of a most distinguished scholar of philosophy with an audience of distinguished Beijing scholars and students, at a time of a momentous flowering within China of philosophic interest in philosophers both from the East and from the West, both classical and modern.”
—Peter J. Ahrensdorf, author of Homer and the Tradition of Political Philosophy

“Laurence Lampert’s Beijing Lectures sum up a lifetime of reading and thinking, of learning and discovering, and what a voyage it is. With laser focus, Lampert guides the reader through the artful writings of Strauss, Plato and Nietzsche. With grace, gratitude and joy, he leads us far beyond the received history of philosophy to uncover a scintillating tradition of philosophic poetry that illuminates both the past and the future.”
—David Janssens, Tilburg University

“Laurence Lampert is among the very best guides to each of these magnificent thinkers, and no one has done more to develop the comparison among them. Regarding ‘philosophic poetry,’ Lampert argues powerfully that, between the lines, Plato’s Socrates was appropriating a poetic ethos rather than attempting to vanquish philosophy’s rival in the so-called ‘ancient quarrel’ between them. Deploying compact yet sparkling prose, the book does justice to both contestants along with Strauss, Plato, and Nietzsche.”
—Peter Minowitz, author of Straussophobia and "Getting 'Woke' with Socrates"

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Laurence Lampert 
(1941-2024) taught for thirty-five years at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and was the author of eight books of philosophy, most recently How Socrates Became Socrates and What a Philosopher Is: Becoming Nietzsche.

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