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Professor Tim Fuller Publishes Extensively on Oakeshott

Colorado College Political Science Professor Tim Fuller recently published two essays on Michael Oakeshott, one of the most important British political thinkers of the 20th century.

The first essay, titled "Politics as The Pursuit of Intimations: On the central theme of Oakeshott's political philosophy," appears in the Italian journal Rivista Semestrale di Scienza Costituzionale e Teoria del Diritto. In it, Fuller explores why Oakeshott found the term "pursuit of intimations" to describe what political activity must be, as opposed to what many would like it to be or imagine it could be transformed into. Oakeshott's discussion of this is closely linked to his critique of "rationalism" (what he considered a misunderstanding of what it means to be rational) in politics. This essay explores the link between his critique of rationalism and ideology, and his description of the character of political activity.

The second essay, titled "The compensations of Oakeshott," appears in the November 2014 issue of The New Criterion. Fuller notes that "Oakeshott's understanding of philosophy is that it seeks to understand the whole of experi­ence through assessment of the limitations of the various modes into which we divide and interpret our experience. For him, the task of the philosopher is not to intervene in the political life-to become an adjunct of a politi­cal party or movement-but to describe the activities of the practical mode of life, and its limitations."

Oakeshott's aim, Fuller says, was to "describe how experience is characterized within differ­ing perspectives on human experience. His goal was not to say how scientists, historians, or politicians "ought" to look at the world, but, rather, how they do look at and explain the world, whatever they may sometimes claim to be doing."

Fuller has a third essay, titled "Oakeshott's Pilgrimage Past J. S. Mill," scheduled for publication in the spring 2015 issue of Modern Age.

Colorado College has hosted the Michael Oakeshott Association's international meeting three times: 2003, 2006, and most recently in 2013.

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/24/2020