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Michael Oakeshott and the Postulates of Individuality

A newly published paper by Andrew Norris in Political Theory Michael Oakeshott’s political philosophy is the most sophisticated and compelling liberal alternative to the progressive, state-centered liberalism of John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas. Oakeshott’s version of liberalism as the civil association of individuals underwrites more ideological positions (usually characterized as libertarian or conservative) that play a…

Friedrich Hayek and Michael Polanyi in Correspondence

Friedrich Hayek and Michael Polanyi corresponded with each other for the best part of thirty years. They had shared interests that included science, social science, economics, epistemology, history of ideas and political philosophy. Studying their correspondence and related writings, this article shows that Hayek and Polanyi were committed Liberals but with different understandings of liberty,…


Gray assesses Hayek’s life and work. For those interested in the Encounter piece “My Cousin, Ludwig Wittgenstein” here it is. Equally, and perhaps also happily, Thatcher had no understanding of Hayek’s ideas. Austrian EconomicsConservatismdispersed knowledgedistributed knowledgeFree marketFriedrich Hayekjohn graykeynesLiberalismLibertyLudwig WittgensteinMargaret Thatchersocialism

Philosophy of markets

The very excellent Lisa Herzog interviewed here. H/T to Eric Schliesser. The cliché is that Smith is a “negative liberty” guy and Hegel a “positive liberty” guy. In fact, both have very nuanced accounts of how different dimensions of freedom are realized in a modern society; the freedom to do what you want with your property…

A Danse Macabre of Wants and Satisfactions: Hayek, Oakeshott, Liberty, and Cognition

Just published in Austrian Economic Perspectives on Individualism and Society: Moving Beyond Methodological Individualism Austrian EconomicsAustrian SchoolBehavioral economicscomplexityconsumerismcorey abeldistributed cognitionEconomicsguinevere liberty nellHayekIndividualismindividualityLiberalismLibertarianismLibertyMichael Oakeshottsituated cognitionsocial epistemologysocial ontologysocial realitySpontaneous orderWalker Percy

Beyond Complexity: Can the Sensory Order Defend the Liberal Self?

Here are a couple of extracts from Chor-yung’s paper: Friedrich Hayek’s social philosophy is one of the most systematic and sophisticated among the contributions made by 20th-century liberal thinkers. His defense of the free market and individual freedom and his critique of collectivism of various kinds are mainly based on his epistemological theses, which in…

Preserving print

My chum Andrew Irvine has an article on the virtues and opportunities in preserving hard-copy books in this age of digitization. Andrew IrvinebodleianlibrarybooksBritish Librarydigital subscriptionsJohannes GutenbergJohn Stuart MillLibertylibrariesVatican Library