By Aryeh Botwinick

ISBN-10: 0691147175

ISBN-13: 9780691147178

ISBN-10: 128282113X

ISBN-13: 9781282821132

ISBN-10: 1400836956

ISBN-13: 9781400836956

The English thinker Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990) is really a conservative who rejected philosophically bold rationalism and the grand political ideologies of the 20th century in view that no human principles have finally trustworthy foundations. as a substitute, he embraced culture and behavior because the publications to ethical and political lifestyles. during this publication, Aryeh Botwinick offers an unique account of Oakeshott's skepticism approximately foundations, an account that newly unearths the harmony of his thought.

Botwinick argues that, regardless of Oakeshott's pragmatic conservatism, his rejection of all-embracing highbrow initiatives made him a pal to liberal individualism and an best friend of what could turn into postmodern antifoundationalism. Oakeshott's skepticism even prolonged satirically to skepticism approximately skepticism itself and is healthier defined as a "generalized agnosticism." adequately conceived and translated, this agnosticism finally evolves into mysticism, which turns into a bridge linking philosophy and faith. Botwinick explains and develops this technique of interpretation after which exhibits the way it illuminates and unifies the various strands of Oakeshott's notion within the philosophy of faith, metaphysics, epistemology, political idea, philosophy of private identification, philosophy of legislations, and philosophy of history.

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Extra resources for Michael Oakeshott's skepticism

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All of us navigating in whatever mode (or hybrid mode) of experience we happen to be immersed in can only proceed to converse by (artificially) privileging certain premises and moving ahead accordingly. 11 In writing in the manner that irks some readers, Oakeshott is merely dramatizing limits that are enshrined in his philosophy. One might parenthetically add that Oakeshott’s preference for the essay form also results from the same source. The essay, unlike the more fully elaborated and systematically structured treatise, represents on a formal literary level the closest analogue to conversation in the domain of the spoken word.

All of us navigating in whatever mode (or hybrid mode) of experience we happen to be immersed in can only proceed to converse by (artificially) privileging certain premises and moving ahead accordingly. 11 In writing in the manner that irks some readers, Oakeshott is merely dramatizing limits that are enshrined in his philosophy. One might parenthetically add that Oakeshott’s preference for the essay form also results from the same source. The essay, unlike the more fully elaborated and systematically structured treatise, represents on a formal literary level the closest analogue to conversation in the domain of the spoken word.

The analogies and correspondences that he synthesizes from skepticism are geared to buttressing political radicalism. Part of the glory of Oakeshott as a political philosopher is that in conceiving of philosophy in such a way that philosophy can speak in multiple, contradictory voices to politics, he has in effect introduction 19 dramatized for us that philosophy does not speak to politics at all. On a substantive level—concerning what sort of state to establish, with what constellation of values—philosophy has nothing concrete and decisive to say to politics.

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Michael Oakeshott's skepticism by Aryeh Botwinick


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