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The calling of social thoughtRediscovering the work of Edward Shils$
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Christopher Adair-Toteff and Stephen Turner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526120052

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526120052.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Shils and Oakeshott

Shils and Oakeshott

Chapter:
(p.123) 6 Shils and Oakeshott
Source:
The calling of social thought
Author(s):

Efraim Podoksik

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526120052.003.0007

Michael Oakeshott and Edward Shils are thinkers similar in many respects. They both belonged to the intellectual current of the post-war anti-totalitarianism that was characterised by the opposition to the idea of regulating society by planning, by the rejection of ideological politics, and by the perception of similarity, if not identity, between the left-wing and right-wing radicalisms. They both occupied the conservative-liberal slot within the broad anti-totalitarian spectrum, combining their adherence to freedom and minimal state with their deep appreciation of tradition. At the same time, their different intellectual temperaments led them to opposite directions. Beneath Oakeshott’s apparent conservatism one often discovers an emancipatory and optimistic disposition grounded in his Romantic appreciation of radical individuality. Shils’ respectable liberalism, by contrast, often results in cultural pessimism and social conservatism.

Keywords:   Michael Oakeshott, anti-totalitarianism, tradition, freedom, liberal education

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