Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm not sure whether to be embarrassed or pleased

Despite having read extensively in the secondary literature on Oakeshott in the course of writing Oakeshott on Rome and America, I somehow missed what I now think is the best book about Oakeshott out there: Paul Franco's The Political Philosophy of Michael Oakshott.

In one sense this is embarrassing: I really ought to have read the book some years ago. But on the other hand, I am somewhat glad I didn't: Franco's thoughts on Oakshott are very close to mine, especially concerning the importance of idealist philosophy to Oakeshott's critique of rationalism. But I had to struggle my way to these conclusions over the course of several years of contemplation. If I had merely read them in Franco's book, I'm not sure that they would be nearly as much "mine" as they are. O felix culpa!

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“The advancement of science and the rationality of politics are interwoven in a social process that, in the perspective of a more distant f...