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August 24, 2002

Weekend's Worth of Oakeshott

Friedrich --

Philosopher/poet of politics

Some passages from my favorite political philosopher (and namesake), Michael Oakeshott:

I regard as an enemy that modified form of Utopianism which picks at one problem of society at a given moment and is prepared to upset the whole of the society in order to get that one problem solved...

I should say that no problem in politics is ever solved permanently, and that no problem in politics should be allowed to get out of proportion and to exclude the real business of politics, which is to keep the society as a whole, in all its arrangements, coherent and stable as well as progressive....

The moral life of a man does not consist entirely in performing a number of reasonable actions, it consists in living according to certain habits of behaviour, which may be analysed into separate actions but which do not appear as separate actions except on a few occasions.

Anyone curious can find out a lot more about this genius here. The book of his to start with is "Rationalism in Politics," which you can buy here.



posted by Michael at August 24, 2002


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