On Human Conduct is composed of three connected essays. Each has its own concern: the first with theoretical understanding, and with human conduct in general; the second with an ideal mode of human relationship which the author has called civil association; and the third with that ambiguous, historic association commonly called a modern European state. Running through the work is Professor Oakshott's belief in philosophical reflection as an adventure: the adventure of one who seeks to understand in other terms what (...) he already understands, and where the understanding is sought is a disclosure of the conditions of the understanding enjoyed and not a substitute for it. Its most appropriate expression is an essay, which, he writes, 'does not dissemble the conditionality of the conclusions it throws up and although it may enlighten it does not instruct.'. (shrink)
THE HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT Every man's reading of past events comes to acquire, in the course of time, a certain conceptual structure. It is not a structure he merely invents and imposes upon the course of events, but one which he ...
This classic work is here published for the first time in paperback in recognition of its enduring importance. Its theme is Modality: human experience recognized as a variety of independent, self-consistent worlds of discourse, each the invention of human intelligence, but each also to be understood as abstract and an arrest in human experience. The theme is pursued in a consideration of the practical, the historical and the scientific modes of understanding.
When it first appeared in 1933, Experience and its Modes was not considered a classic. But as philosophical fashion moved away from the analytic philosophy of the 1930s, this work began to seem ahead of its time. Arguing that experience is 'modal', in the sense that we always have a theoretical or practical perspective on the world, Michael Oakeshott explores the nature of philosophical experience and its relationship to three of the most important 'modes' of non-philosophical experience - science, history (...) and practice - seeking to establish the autonomy and superiority of philosophy. In recognition of its enduring importance, this book is presented in a fresh series livery for a new generation of readers, featuring a specially commissioned preface written by Paul Franco. (shrink)
Michael Oakeshott a contribué de manière décisive à la recherche sur Hobbes, sur l’historiographie et sur la pensée politique dans le monde moderne et contemporain. « Rationalism in Politics » , que l’on trouvera ici dans la traduction d’Olivier Sedeyn, est l’un des textes les plus représentatifs de sa pensée et, cela vaut la peine d’être ajouté, de son style..