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Rationalism in Politics

In anticipation of a talk I’m giving later on in the week on Oakeshott’s so-called “dispositional conservatism”, here is a nice little piece by my chum Gene Callahan serving as a good introduction to RIP. The British philosopher and historian Michael Oakeshott is a curious figure in twentieth-century intellectual history. He is known mostly as…

Clouding Conservatism

Yet more Oakeshottiana. Here is a brief review by Elizabeth Corey of The Meanings of Michael Oakeshott’s Conservatism (table of contents). Corey summarizes why Oakeshott’s supposed conservatism equally frustrates self-avowed conservatives and liberal critics: in the second excerpt she neatly captures the appeal of Oakeshott for someone such as myself. (See also another recent posting). In…

A Disposition of Delight

My chum and the new president of the Michael Oakeshott Association, Elizabeth Corey, has just had this article published in First Things. Since this article is by subscription, I will only post a couple of extracts that caught my eye. Elizabeth is an excellent scholar whose chapter entitled “The Religious Sensibility of Michael Oakeshott” will be…

Ryle and Oakeshott

At last here is the book in which my essay “Ryle and Oakeshott on the know-how/know-that distinction” appears, masterly edited by Corey Abel. A draft of the paper can be found here. Don’t get hung up by the use of the word “conservatism” in the collection’s title – Oakeshott’s conservatism bears no resemblance to those…

Zappa takes on Bloom

Here’s a curiosity (well not really, Zappa was always the most articulate and most sceptical of “beat” composers). Here is Zappa responding to passages from Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind. “On Junk Food for the Soul” New Perspective’s Quarterly, 1987 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ THE NATURE OF MUSIC “Music is the soul’s primitive and primary speech……

Jesse Norman, MP

Jesse Norman, a very able philosopher and man of practice, has been elected as the new MP to represent the Hereford and South Herefordshire constituency. Philosophically speaking, Jesse has several strings to his bow. I first came to know him as an Oakeshottian – he edited The Achievement of Michael Oakeshott (Duckworth – unfortunately, no…