26 February 2017


From ‘Kurt Riezler (1882-1955)’ by Leo Strauss in What Is Political Philosophy? And Other Studies (University of Chicago Press, 1959) 236, 260
Human dignity, Riezler suggests among other things, stands and falls by shame and awe because man's greatness is co-present in his littleness and his littleness is co-present in his greatness. It was ultimately because he grasped the meaning of shame and awe that Riezler was a liberal, a lover of privacy. By invading men's privacy one does not come to know them better - one merely ceases to see them. For man's being is revealed by the broad character of his life, his deeds, his works, by what he esteems and reveres not in word but in deed - by the stars for which his soul longs if it longs for any stars.