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Oakeshott and Hobbes

Oakeshott’s interpretation of Hobbes is the central subject of Noel Malcolm’s essay “Oakeshott and Hobbes.” Malcolm notices that there seems to be a discrepancy between Oakeshott’s hostility to rationalism, on the one hand, and his admiration for Hobbes, an archetypal rationalist if ever there was one, on the other. In the first instance, Oakeshott seems…

Richard Flathman: The Reluctant Liberal

Richard Flathman who died last year has a posthumous collection of essays coming out within the year. I’ve always had a high regard for RF since he seemed far more philosophically informed (analytically speaking) than most other political philosophers of his generation. Thus we got on very well when he chaired a panel I was…

Jesse Norman on Liberal Education/ Orsi on Oakeshott and International Relations

Listen to Jesse Norman’s Oakeshott talk. Also an article recently published by Davide Orsi. Introduction Michael Oakeshott’s thought has been considered from a great variety of perspectives and has been interpreted in many, often divergent, ways. For example, scholars have placed his works in the context of the history of philosophy and they have highlighted their relationship…

Oakeshott on Law

The last essay in the collection. To write about law in relationship to Michael Oakeshott’s ideas generally, or his thoughts on politics in particular, presents a complicated task, not because law is an obscure concept in Oakeshott and not because it is a topic about which he has written little. In fact, Oakeshott wrote about…

Oakeshott and Hobbes

Here are more extracts from Noel Malcolm’s essay for the Oakeshott Companion: Malcolm’s recent work has been listed as one of The Economist books of the year. Oakeshott’s essay on “Rationalism in Politics” does make some attempt to locate the birth of rationalism historically. He observes that “the moment when it shows itself unmistakably” is in…