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Oakeshott on Aesthetic Experience

Excerpts from Corey Abel’s essay on aesthetics Commentators agree that “The Voice of Poetry” is important but disagree on whether Oakeshott wrote a theory of aesthetics. Most think “The Voice of Poetry” establishes poetry’s distinction from practice, as it does, forcefully. But in his remarks on childhood, friendship, and love, Oakeshott seems to rejoin poetry…

The Religious Sensibility of Michael Oakeshott

Snippets from Elizabeth Corey’s essay: Perhaps what is most notable about the Tower of Babel myth, in both of Oakeshott’s essays, is the perfectionism inherent in the story. Whether one wants to contribute to a great and noble cause or to change the world through human action, pride and overestimation lie at the center of…

Oakeshott Memorial

Here is the programme of the Oakeshott memorial compiled by Tim Fuller and given to me by Ken Minogue. Since Oakeshott was born and died in December, this is the first posting of the month. Michael OakeshottOakeshott

Philosophy and its moods

These excerpts from Ken McIntyre’s essay Philosophy and its moods: Oakeshott’s insistence on the dispositional skepticism of philosophical activity leads to his rejection of both the importance of authority in philosophy and the relevance of philosophy to practical life. He writes that philosophy “recognizes neither ‘authorities’ nor ‘established doctrines,’” because such institutions present themselves as conclusions…

A Companion to Michael Oakeshott

After a four year gestation with many, often quite bizarre twists and turns, today this project officially reaches its fruition. To read excerpts from each chapter, type “oakeshott” into this site’s search box. a companion to michael oakeshottBritish Idealismdead philosophersMichael OakeshottOakeshottPhilosophy of historyphilosophy of social sciencePolitical philosophyThomas Hobbes

The Victim of Thought: The Idealist Inheritance

The penultimate chapter to be trailed – David Boucher on Oakeshott’s idealism. Oakeshott’s indebtedness to philosophical idealism has been touched upon by many commentators as incidental to their main concerns, and his relative silence after the Second World War compared with his defiant proclamations of loyalty before it gave rise to suspicions that he was…

Philosophy and its Moods: Oakeshott on the Practice of Philosophy

Extract from Ken McIntyre’s chapter: Among non-academic intellectuals and political theorists, Michael Oakeshott is known primarily as a conservative political thinker who produced a series of essays in the 1950s which were critical of “rationalist” or “ideological” politics. Others who have read more deeply in Oakeshott’s corpus are aware of his contributions to the philosophy…

Michael Oakeshott’s Philosophy of History

In the countdown to October 19th here is the intro to Geoff Thomas’ chapter: Omnis determinatio est negatio, says Spinoza: to specify the nature of anything is also illuminatingly to say what it is not. This remark, whatever its general force, applies exactly to Michael Oakeshott’s philosophy of history. Oakeshott is a polemicist, a prince…

Noel Malcolm on Hobbes

Noel Malcolm’s monumental 2,355 page edition of Leviathan is rightly attracting attention well beyond philosophical circles. And you can read Malcolm’s chapter on Oakeshott’s Hobbes in the forthcoming A Companion to Michael Oakeshott. But things are looking up for the Monster, thanks to the labours of Noel Malcolm, a polymath at All Souls College, Oxford, and a former journalist…