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Michael Oakeshott on the History of Political Thought

What did Oakeshott mean by the “history of political thought”? This is the question Martyn Thompson addresses in his essay “Michael Oakeshott on the History of Political Thought.” He highlights two features of Oakeshott’s conception: first, that the historical past is a construction of the historian, and therefore the meaning of any given historical text…

Un Début dans la Vie Humaine: Michael Oakeshott on education

Still on an educational theme, Paul’s chapter coincidently comes soon after I’d attended a conference on Maria Montessori. As a Montessori kid myself, I now see the many continuities going back to Boëthius’ Trivium and Quadrivium. Paul Franco’s essay on Oakeshott’s philosophy of education, “Un Début dans la Vie Humaine,” fittingly concludes part 1 of this volume, for…

Whatever It Turns Out To Be: Oakeshott on Aesthetic Experience

Focusing his analysis on the lengthy “Voice of Poetry” essay, Abel provides a robust defense of Oakeshott’s nonrepresentational and nonpractical conception of art. Critics who suggest that Oakeshott goes too far in severing art from truth and morality fail to grasp that Oakeshott’s fundamental philosophical concern is to identify the differentia of aesthetic experience vis-à-vis…

Michael Oakeshott on Authority, Governance, and the State

Due to be published this August. Introduction/Eric S. Kos The State is the Attempt to Strip Metaphor out of Politics/James Alexander The Problem of Liberal Political Legitimacy/David D. Corey Oakeshott on the State: Between History and Philosophy/Gary Browning  Taking Natural Law Seriously within the Liberal Tradition/Timothy Fuller The Authority of the State and the Traditional…

The Religious Sensibility of Michael Oakeshott

The theme of the unremitting nature of practical life also appears in Elizabeth Corey’s essay “The Religious Sensibility of Michael Oakeshott.” Drawing on Oakeshott’s two essays on the Tower of Babel to flesh out his critique of the perfectionism and obsession with achievement that vitiate modern life, Corey shows how Oakeshott conceived of religion as…

Radical Temporality and the Modern Moral Imagination: Two Themes in the Thought of Michael Oakeshott

In “Radical Temporality and the Modern Moral Imagination,” Timothy Fuller, the dean of American Oakeshottian studies, powerfully evokes Oakeshott’s conception of the endlessness of practical life, which ceaselessly attempts to reconcile “what is” with “what ought to be.” This constitutes the “radical temporality” referred to in the title of his essay, and Fuller goes on…

Michael Oakeshott’s Philosophy of History

Apart from his contributions to political philosophy, Oakeshott is perhaps best known for his contributions to the philosophy of history. Over the course of fifty years, from the important chapter on historical experience in Experience and Its Modes to the three essays on history in On History, Oakeshott applied himself to investigating the nature and…