Michael Oakeshott on Life: Waiting with Godot

History of Political Thought 16 (1):105 (1995)

Abstract
Until quite recently Michael Oakeshott has been widely regarded as a political thinker. So clearly has he been taken to express his political views that there is often little question as to where he lies in the political spectrum. He has been perceived by both �friend� and �foe� as one of the most eloquent twentieth- century exponents of the conservative cause. His best known work is a collection of essays first published together in 1962 as Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays. The title, which is drawn from the first essay in the volume, belies a much broader agenda than one might at first expect. These �other essays� broach a diverse selection of subjects ranging from the idea of the university and what it is to be a historian to the part played by poetry in human experience. This might reveal something about the way in which Oakeshott works as well as what his project might be. He is not only interested in politics (this, if anything, is peripheral): he has a more general concern about a way of thinking which is encroaching upon how we understand ourselves. Oakeshott calls this way of thinking rationalism, and he identifies in rationalism an intellectual disposition to view the world as a series of problems to be solved by appeal to Reason. The rationalist reduces experience to instrumental relations, that is, he views all other objects in this world as means to his ends. Oakeshott identifies other hallmarks of rationalist thought but my present purpose leads me to concentrate on this particular aspect of rationalism. I mention rationalism only to give an indication of the type of thinking that Oakeshott has in his sights
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,282
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rationalism and Tradition: The Popper-Oakeshott Conversation.S. Jacobs & I. Tregenza - 2014 - European Journal of Political Theory 13 (1):3-24.
The Cambridge Companion to Oakeshott.Efraim Podoksik (ed.) - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
Contingency and Judgement in Oakeshott's Political Thought.Bruce Haddock - 2005 - European Journal of Political Theory 4 (1):7-21.
Winch on Following a Rule: A Wittgensteinian Critique of Oakeshott.Gene Callahan - 2012 - Collingwood and British Idealism Studies 18 (2):167-175.
Constructivism and Relativism in Oakeshott.Leslie Marsh - 2005 - In Corey Abel & Timothy Fuller (eds.), In The Intellectual Legacy of Michael Oakeshott. Imprint Academic.
Michael Oakeshott on History, Practice and Political Theory.T. Smith - 1996 - History of Political Thought 17 (4):591-614.
Oakeshott, Berlin, and Liberalism.Paul Franco - 2003 - Political Theory 31 (4):484-507.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-11-24

Total views
21 ( #441,346 of 2,285,994 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #413,898 of 2,285,994 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature