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May 30 , 2010

The Politics and Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott


Michael Oakeshott was a leading Political theorist described by The Telegraph in 1990 as "the greatest political philosopher in the Anglo-Saxon tradition since Mill – or even Burke". There has been sustained interest in his work, and a developing body of literature, over recent years. This book offers a clearly written and accessible critical analysis: it presents complex theories and concepts in a way that will introduce new readers to Oakeshott’s work, and at the same time offers a fresh approach for those already familiar with his philosophy.

The Politics and Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott reveals how his work relates to contemporary political philosophy (for example, Arendt, Rorty, Rawls); and moreover, how it links to broader debates within philosophy and the social sciences and, building upon the work of Devigne, through to postmodernism.

This book brings together the disparate influences that have, at various times, been associated with Oakeshott’s work, and draws from a number of essays which have been published posthumously. Referring to these, and other more well-known texts, the author makes sense of the many dimensions of Oakeshott’s work by placing a moral concern as central to his system of thought. All in all this book considers the recently published ‘lesser-known’ essays as well as the latest secondary appraisals of Oakeshott’s work, which sets his thought in the contemporary political environment of the twenty-first century. This much-needed text with be of great interest to students and researchers in political science and philosophy.

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