Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays / Edition 1

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Overview

Rationalism in Politics, first published in 1962, has established the late Michael Oakeshott as the leading conservative political theorist in modern Britain. This expanded collection of essays astutely points out the limits of "reason" in rationalist politics.

Oakeshott criticizes ideological schemes to reform society according to supposedly "scientific" or rationalistic principles that ignore the wealth and variety of human experience. "Rationalism in politics," says Oakeshott, "involves a misconception with regard to the nature of human knowledge." History has shown that it produces unexpected, often disastrous results. "Having cut himself off from the traditional knowledge of his society, and denied the value of any education more extensive than a training in a technique of analysis," the Rationalist succeeds only in undermining the institutions that hold civilized society together. In this regard, rationalism in politics is "a corruption of the mind."

Timothy Fuller is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College at Colorado College.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865970953
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/31/2010
  • Edition description: New and Expanded Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 582
  • Sales rank: 1,057,116
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 1.61 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface to first edition xi
Foreword by Timothy Fuller xiii
Bibliography xxiii PART ONE
Reason and the conduct of political life 3
Rationalism in politics 6
Political education 43
Political discourse* 70 PART TWO
Dissecting rationalism 97
Rational conduct 99
The new Bentham*
132 The activity of being an historian 151
The study of politics in a university 184
* Indicates essay is new to this edition. PART THREE
On Hobbes 219
Introduction to Leviathan* 221
The moral life in the writings of Thomas Hobbes 295
Logos and telos* 351 PART FOUR
Reflections on modern politics 361
The masses in representative democracy* 363
The political economy of freedom 384
On being conservative 407
Talking politics* 438 PART FIVE
On the human condition 463
The tower of Babel 465
The voice of poetry in the conversation of mankind 488 Index 543
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