Michael Oakeshott

An Introduction

Paul Franco

View Inside Price: $21.00


January 20, 2015
224 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
ISBN: 9780300215274
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth

In this book Paul Franco provides an authoritative introduction to the life and thought of Michael Oakeshott, one of the most important philosophical voices of the twentieth century. After sketching a brief biography of Oakeshott, Franco then examines his most distinctive ideas, including his early idealist theory of knowledge, his influential critique of rationalism and central social planning, and his liberal theory of civil association.

Though best known as a political philosopher, Oakeshott also made significant contributions to the philosophy of history, aesthetics, the philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of education. Franco highlights Oakeshott’s impressive achievements in each of these areas. His book is an essential introduction to the whole range of Oakeshott’s thought, and it sets the philosopher’s work in historical context while also demonstrating its relevance to contemporary debates in political philosophy.

Paul Franco is professor of government at Bowdoin College.

“This is the best general study available on Michael Oakeshott. Franco writes with the kind of authority that comes from long familiarity with his subject.”—Steven B. Smith, author of Spinoza’s Book of Life

Designed to make Oakeshott’s thinking accessible…illuminates his works as well as analyzes topics not hitherto addressed.

Michael Oakeshott: An Introduction goes a long way toward improving our understanding of this beguiling, elusive thinker. Franco . . . has produced an engaging account of Oakeshott’s ideas that is both suitable for readers new to them and enlightening to long-time Oakeshott aficionados. . . . I can whole-heartedly recommend this excellent book both for newcomers to, and for old hands at, the ideas of one of the most important thinkers of the past century.”—Gene Callahan, The American Conservative

“A guide to Oakeshott which is both sympathetic and scrupulously fair; it is also remarkable user friendly.”—Noel Malcolm, The Sunday Telegraph

"An excellent introduction to Oakeshott’s work."—Tim Congdon, Times Literary Supplement

"Paul Franco's recent Michael Oakeshott: An Introduction lays a helpful groundwork for an informed confrontation with an influential yet often misunderstood thinker. . . . An excellent beginning point for a thoughtful investigation of Oakeshott's thought."—Thomas W. Merrill, Society

"This is the most serious assessment of the work of a man who is perhaps the leading and most substantial political philosopher of the past century. . . . meticulous and objective."—Virgil Nemoianu, Elizabeth C. Shaw and Staff