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There’s a distinguished political scientist—Jacqueline Stevens—who agrees with me that the National Science Foundation (NSF) ought to cut the funding for political science. The Republicans in Congress think that these “scientists” are covertly pushing an ideological agenda that lurks behinds all their jargon and “methods.” That’s somewhat true. When applied to the lives of human beings, everyone knows that the…

Compared to other European émigré scholars of the same period–Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Hannah Arendt, Hans Morgenthau, and Leo Strauss–Eric Voegelin’s contribution to the discipline of political science is marginal. Over time the work of these thinkers have become part of the mainstream of political science with their legacies preserved by their students who continue to find new and relevant…

At first glance, Eric Voegelin’s contribution to the discipline of Political Science appears negligible when compared to other European émigré scholars of the same period, such as Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Herbert Marcuse, Hans Morgenthau, and Leo Strauss. Over time the works of these thinkers have become mainstreamed in American Political Science with their legacies preserved by their students who…

Political science is suffering from a difficulty that originates in its very nature as a science of man in historical existence. For man does not wait for science to have his life explained to him, and when the theorist approaches social reality he finds the field pre-empted by what may be called the self-interpretation of society. Human society is not…


Eric Voegelin and Leo Strauss

Eric Voegelin, Leo Strauss, and Hannah Arendt were all forced to flee Germany when that country fell under the sway of the National Socialists. They have been grouped together by hostile critics and by those who admired their work; their interpersonal relations have been the subject of gossip, speculation, and occasional analysis. Whatever the motives one…

Politics in the narrower sense of nomothetics [constitution-making science] intends to teach the lawgiver how to create the institutions that will inculcate the ethical excellences in the citizens. Assuming for the moment that such a science of means for the desired end can be successfully developed, there remains the great question whether the desired end is valid in itself and…

Political science is suffering from a difficulty that originates in its very nature as a science of man in historical existence. For man does not wait for science to have his life explained to him, and when the theorist approaches social reality he finds the field pre-empted by what may be called the self-interpretation of society.
Human society is not merely…




The wars and revolutions of the twentieth century bring to its end a period that begins with the consolidation of the Western national states in the fifteenth century. An upheaval of such magnitude, convulsing the whole of a civilization, affects not the institutions only but also the sentiments and beliefs that went into their building, the verities that they represent,…

. . . . Theory is not just any opining about human existence in society; it rather is an attempt at formulating the meaning of existence by explicating the content of a definite class of experiences. Its argument is not arbitrary but derives its validity from the aggregate of experiences to which it must permanently refer for empirical control.
Aristotle was…

Part 1 of the Audio Recording may be listened here.
Eric Voegelin: You have something about history. May I ask you just for a piece of paper because I want to draw a little diagram and show it to you? It represents what is perhaps the most important change today in science in the conception of history. What we have in…