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.