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The Embedded Epistemologist

I was startled to read, in the 6th edition of a well-known textbook, McCormick on Evidence, that the “reasonable doubt” formula “points to what we are really concerned with, the state of the jury’s mind,” whereas “preponderance of the evidence” and “clear and convincing evidence” “divert attention to the evidence.” This has things exactly backwards:…

Susan Haack — Passionate Moderate

Susan Haack is one of my absolutely favourite living (and still very active) philosophers. The appellation Passionate Moderate had such deep resonance from the moment I read her eponymously titled book. (This is a great book to read if you are coming to formal philosophy for the first time: Susan writes without ever being “jargony” or condescending…

On Human Conduct

It’s been 40 years since one of Oakeshott’s masterpieces, On Human Conduct, was published. Despite being an “old man’s” book, dense and highly qualified, it contains some of the most melliflous writing Oakeshott ever did. Religious faith is the evocation of a sentiment (the love, the glory, or the honour of God, for example, or even…

Rationalism in law

Graham Gee and Grégoire Webber’s article now available  in the Modern Law Review. Michael OakeshottOakeshottphilosophical jurisprudencephilosophy of lawPolitical philosophyrationalismThomas Hobbes

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…