Michael Oakeshott

(3815 words)
  • Peter Christopher Grosvenor (Pacific Lutheran University)

Michael Joseph Oakeshott (1901-90) was one of the most distinguished British philosophers of the twentieth century. He was the leading exponent of philosophical idealism, specializing in political philosophy and in the history of political thought. Despite his life-long detachment from practical politics, his work has exercised an important influence on modern conservative thinking.

The turning point in Oakeshott’s academic career came in 1951, when he was appointed as chair of the Government Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), succeeding the socialist political theorist Harold Laski. His political philosophy was deeply indebted to Hegel, but Thomas Hobbes emerged as a special …

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Citation:
Grosvenor, Peter Christopher. "Michael Oakeshott". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 December 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12314, accessed 24 November 2014.]