A History of Political Experience [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
European Journal of Political Theory 5 (4):504-510 (2006)
This book survives superficial but fails deeper scrutiny. A facile, undiscerning criticism of Lectures in the History of Political Thought (LHPT) is that on Oakeshott’s own account these are lectures on a non-subject: ‘I cannot detect anything which could properly correspond to the expression “the history of political thought”’ (p. 32). This is an entirely typical Oakeshottian swipe – elegant and oblique – at the title of the lecture course he inherited from Harold Laski. If title and quotation sit awkwardly we should remember that Oakeshott never prepared the text for publication – a fortiori he did not prepare it for publication under this title. Moreover, for Oakeshott the compound notion of ‘political thought’ does not denote much either (pp. 33–4). A positive characterization can, however, be made for the notion of ‘political experience’ or ‘intellectual organization’ (p. 42), a particular context-bound agglomeration ‘of sentiments, beliefs, habits of thought, aspirations and ideas’ (pp. 43, 45, 391, 393). This notion, with its enumeration and specification into Greek, Roman, medieval and modern political experience, structures the 32 lectures that comprise the book. Oakeshott’s notion of political experience has deep affinities (at least) with the style of political analysis followed by the Cambridge classicist, F.E. Adcock, in Roman Political Ideas and Practice (1964), a text surely not fortuitously included in the course reading-list for the original lectures.
|Keywords||history political thought Oakeshott|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Kenneth Minogue (1993). The History of Political Thought Seminar. In Jesse Norman (ed.), The Achievement of Michael Oakeshott. Duckworth.
David Boucher (1989). The Social and Political Thought of R.G. Collingwood. Cambridge University Press.
John Rawls (2007). Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Francis Oakley (1999). Politics and Eternity: Studies in the History of Medieval and Early-Modern Political Thought. Brill.
D. Howard (2011). Why Study the History of Political Thought? Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (5):519-531.
Leslie Marsh (2005). Constructivism and Relativism in Oakeshott. In Corey Abel & Timothy Fuller (eds.), In The Intellectual Legacy of Michael Oakeshott. Imprint Academic.
Ryan K. Balot (2006). Greek Political Thought. Blackwell Pub..
Paul Franco (2003). Oakeshott, Berlin, and Liberalism. Political Theory 31 (4):484-507.
Steven Anthony Gerencser (2000). The Skeptic's Oakeshott. St. Martin's Press.
Efraim Podoksik (ed.) (2012). The Cambridge Companion to Oakeshott. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-03-26
Total downloads14 ( #95,211 of 1,088,404 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?