Early Political Writings 1925-30

– Michael Oakeshott, Early Political Writings 1925-30. Thorverton: Imprint Academic, 2010.
“Michael Oakeshott (1901–90) made his reputation as a political philosopher, but for a long time it seemed as if he had little interest in politics before 1945. His major pre-war work, Experience and its Modes (1933) was an examination of the nature… More

The Vocabulary of a Modern European State: Essays and Reviews 1952-88

– Michael Oakeshott, The Vocabulary of a Modern European State: Essays and Reviews 1952-88. Thorverton: Imprint Academic, 2008.
“The Vocabulary of a Modern European State is the companion volume to The Concept of a Philosophical Jurisprudence and completes the enterprise of gathering together Oakeshott’s previously scattered essays and reviews. As with all the other volumes in… More

The Concept of a Philosophical Jurisprudence: Essays and Reviews 1926-51

– Michael Oakeshott, The Concept of a Philosophical Jurisprudence: Essays and Reviews 1926-51. Thorverton: Imprint Academic, 2006.
“This volume brings together for the first time over a hundred of Oakeshott’s essays and reviews, written between 1926 and 1951, that until now have remained scattered through a variety of scholarly journals, periodicals and newspapers. A new… More

Lectures in the History of Political Thought

– Michael Oakeshott, Lectures in the History of Political Thought. Thorverton: Imprint Academic, 2006.
Oakeshott’s memorable lectures on the history of political thought, delivered each year at the London School of Economics, will now be available in print for the first time. Based on manuscripts in the LSE archive for 1966–67, the last year of… More

What is History? And Other Essays

– Michael Oakeshott, What is History? And Other Essays. Thorverton: Imprint Academic, 2004.
“This highly readable new collection of thirty pieces by Michael Oakeshott, almost all of which are previously unpublished, covers every decade of his intellectual career, and adds significantly to his contributions to the philosophy of historical… More

The Politics of Faith and the Politics of Skepticism

– Michael Oakeshott, The Politics of Faith and the Politics of Skepticism. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.
“In this polished and hitherto unknown work, Oakeshott argues that modern politics was constituted out of a debate, persistent through centuries of European political experience down to our own day, over the question “What should governments… More

Religion, Politics, and the Moral Life

– Michael Oakeshott, Religion, Politics, and the Moral Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.
“Michael Oakeshott’s interest in religion and theology was especially prominent in his essays of the 1920s and 1930s. This book consists of four important unpublished pieces, together with six essays by Oakeshott that originally appeared in remote and… More

Morality and Politics in Modern Europe

– Michael Oakeshott, Morality and Politics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.
“In Morality and Politics in Modern Europe, Oakeshott argues that two conflicting moralities underlie two opposed understandings of the office of government in modern Europe. On one hand is the morality of individuality, according to which the role of… More

The Voice of Liberal Learning

– Michael Oakeshott, The Voice of Liberal Learning. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1989.
Timothy Fuller has here performed the valuable task of bringing together Michael Oakeshott’s most important essays on education. Fuller also includes a helpful introduction which distinguishes Oakeshott’s view from those of Allan Bloom and E.D.… More

On History and Other Essays

– Michael Oakeshott, On History and Other Essays. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983.
“In this book’s first three essays, Professor Michael Oakeshott sets out to establish the nature, conditions, and limits of historical inquiry, but, for once, professional historians may find that a philosopher has explained their work and unique… More


[in chronological order]

Rationalism and the Rule of Law: Michael Oakeshott and the American Constitutional Order

– Corey, Elizabeth. "Rationalism and the Rule of Law: Michael Oakeshott and the American Constitutional Order." American Political Thought 4, no. 4 (2015): 632-52.
Abstract: Many commentators have mentioned the fact that Michael Oakeshott describes the American founding as a “Rationalist” project. But there has been little careful investigation into the actual character of his criticisms. This essay first… More

Oakeshott’s Concept of Ideology

– David Corey. “Oakeshott's Concept of Ideology,” Journal of Political Ideologies 19, no. 3 (2014): 261-282.  
Excerpt: Michael Oakeshott’s critique of ‘political rationalism’ is often regarded as a unique contribution to the study of 20th-century ‘ideologies.’ But, in fact, Oakeshott understood rationalism and ideology as distinct phenomena. This… More

Oakeshott on Rome and America

– Gene Callahan. Oakeshott on Rome and America. Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2013.
Excerpt: The political systems of the Roman Republic were based almost entirely on tradition, “the way of the ancestors”, rather than on a written constitution. While the founders of the American Republic looked to ancient Rome as a primary model for… More

The Religious Sensibility of Michael Oakeshott

– Corey, Elizabeth. "The Religious Sensibility of Michael Oakeshott." A Companion to Michael Oakeshott. Edited by Paul Franco and Leslie March, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012, pp. 134–150.
Excerpt: I have often thought that one of the best introductions to the philosophy of Michael Oakeshott is a children’s book by Arnold Lobel. Grasshopper on the Road describes the journey of a remarkably even-tempered grasshopper who meets various other… More

Oakeshott’s Ideal of the Liberal State

– Elizabeth Corey, "Oakeshott's Ideal of the Liberal State," Online Library of Law and Liberty, September: 2012.
It’s hard to imagine an event that more perfectly illustrates Michael Oakeshott’s notion of telocracy than the Supreme Court decision, in a 5-4 vote, that President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, was constitutional. The… More

The Cambridge Companion to Oakeshott edited by Efraim Podoksik

– Podoksik, Efraim, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Oakeshott. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012
In this volume a broad group of scholars offers a comprehensive overview of Oakeshott’s philosophy, including his moral and political philosophy, his philosophy of history, science and aesthetics, and his views on the role of education. They analyse… More

Michael Oakeshott on the Rule of Law by Timothy Fuller

– Timothy Fuller, "Michael Oakeshott on the Rule of Law and the Liberal Order," Journal of Law and Liberty, September: 2012.
A defining theme of Michael Oakeshott’s thought is that, through the past five centuries, European civilization can count among its greatest achievements the invention of “civil association” and the clarification of the “rule of law.” These are… More

A Companion to Michael Oakeshott

– Franco, Paul and Leslie Marsh, eds.  A Companion to Michael Oakeshott. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012.
Excerpt: Michael Oakeshott has long been recognized as one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century, but until now no single volume has been able to examine all the facets of his wide-ranging philosophy with sufficient depth,… More

Education and the Voice of Michael Oakeshott

– Kevin Williams. Education and the Voice of Michael Oakeshott. Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2007.
Excerpt: The work of Michael Oakeshott has retained a striking currency in philosophical discourse about education. This is hardly surprising in view of his influence on Paul Hirst and Richard Peters, two philosophers whose work had an enormous impact on… More

Michael Oakeshott, the Ancient Greeks, and the Philosophical Study of Politics

– Eric Kos. Michael Oakeshott, the Ancient Greeks, and the Philosophical Study of Politics. Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2007.
Excerpt: This book addresses a question fundamental for Oakeshott throughout his life, which is what we are doing when we read and discuss some memorable work in the history of political thought. The approach the book takes to Oakeshott’s response to this… More


Introduction to Leviathan

– Oakeshott, Michael. "Introduction to Leviathan." In Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays, 2nd edition, pp. 221-294. Liberty Fund: Indianapolis, 1991.
Oakeshott’s acclaimed introduction to the 1946 Blackwell edition of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan which spurred a rethinking of Hobbes’s thought and influenced a generation of subsequent Hobbes scholars.

Rationalism in Politics

– Oakeshott, Michael. "Rationalism in Politics." In Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays, 2nd edition, pp. 5-42. Liberty Fund: Indianapolis, 1991.
From this site’s Introduction: In this, possibly his most renowned essay, “Oakeshott sketches out the ideal type of the ‘Rationalist,’ whose conduct is grounded not in tradition or habit but in self-conscious reflection, relying on… More

On Being Conservative

– Oakeshott, Michael. "On Being Conservative." In Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays, 2nd edition, pp. 407-437. Liberty Fund: Indianapolis, 1991.
Oakeshott’s classic reflection on the disposition, as opposed to the ideology, of conservatism.

Work and Play

– Oakeshott, Michael. "Work and Play." First Things 54 (1995): 29-33
Excerpt: Without pretending to be scientific about it, the world may be imagined to be a vast collection of existences—things and substances of various compositions and kinds—each of which is what it is, and moves, changes, grows, or decays as it does by… More


MP Jesse Norman: Oakeshott on Liberal Education

– The audio from a talk given by British Member of Parliament Jesse Norman entitled, "Where PPE Went Wrong: Oakeshott's Liberal Learning, Liberalism and the University." 21 minutes.
(PPE is a university degree from Oxford in Philosophy, Politics and Economics)  

Andrew Sullivan on Michael Oakeshott

– Columnist Andrew Sullivan reflecting on his discovery of the writings of Michael Oakeshott. 2 minutes.
The Daily Beast Television. A reader asks: Could you summarize Oakeshott’s political theories and how they’ve influenced you?  

Michael Oakeshott’s Cold War Liberalism

– On November 9-10, 2012, The Asan Institute for Policy Studies held the second conference of the Asan Cold War Liberalism Project. The theme of the second conference was:  “Michael Oakeshott’s Cold War Liberalism."