Coming Soon

Completely reset text;
archival quality paper and
binding; new introduction;
CIP data; new index.
5x8,  approx. 255 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1-934182-13-0

Plato’s Modern Enemies and the Theory of Natural Law

By John Daniel Wild

With a new introduction by Christopher Oleson

This book (first published in 1953) is one of the most
surprising texts to emerge out of the American academy in
the aftermath of World War II. That conflagration
confronted philosophers with unparalleled intellectual and
moral challenges that, in the minds of a few penetrating
critics, had paralyzed the then-dominant idealist and
analytic philosophies. One of these thinkers was the
philosopher John Daniel Wild (1902-1972). Wild claimed to
have rediscovered in ancient Greece ethical and
authentically metaphysical answers sufficient to
comprehend, and illuminate a path out of, the new
postmodern social chaos and personal, existential suffering.
A provocative claim, then and now.

Deserving to be ranked with Eric Voegelin (who cited the
present work in
Plato and Aristotle), Leo Strauss, and Robert
Cushman, Wild here attempts to refute those who take
Plato as an irrational dogmatist, totalitarian propagandist,
or an enemy of every form of popular rule. Wild then seeks
to clear away another set of misconceptions about the
natural law tradition, which was commenced, as Wild ably
shows, by Plato and Aristotle, a doctrine whose later history
Wild also outlines. Finally, reasoning from within the
classical natural-law tradition, Wild closes his book with a
captivating engagement with contemporary ethical
problems, including the nature of obligation and human
action, essense and existence, and the relationships
between ethics, metaphysics, and science.
John Daniel Wild (Ph.D., Chicago) was a distinguished
professor of philosophy at Harvard (1927-1961),
Northwestern University (1961-1963), Yale University
(1963-1969), and the University of Florida in Gainesville

Christopher Oleson,
Traditio series editor, is a senior fellow at
the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person
and is an associate professor of philosophy at the Thornwood
Center for Higher Studies.