Oakeshott on Rome and America

Oakeshott on Rome and America

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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 their enterprise, nevertheless, in line with the rationalist spirit of their age, the American founders attempted to create a rational set of rules that would guide the conduct of American politics, namely, the US Constitution.These two examples offer a striking case of the ideal types, famously delineated by Michael Oakeshott in Rationalism in Politics and elsewhere, between politics as a practice grounded in tradition and politics as a system based on principles flowing from abstract reasoning.This book explores how the histories of the two republics can help us to understand Oakeshott s claims about rational versus traditional politics. Through examining such issues we may come to understand better not only Oakeshott s critique of rationalism, but also modern constitutional theory, issues in the design of the European Union, and aspects of the revival of republicanism."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 238 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 22mm | 379.99g
  • Thorverton, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1845406672
  • 9781845406677
  • 2,108,568

Review quote

"In sum, the virtue of Callahan's book is not just in the depth of its theoretical and historical account of the critique of Rationalism... but also in the examination of one of the most controversial issues of our times... The idea of deriving policies and institutions from abstract principles still represents the most pervading style of politics of our times and the project of constructing a political order from a blank slate is far from being abandoned."--Davide Orsi (07/01/2014)
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About Gene Callahan

Gene Callahan holds a PhD in political theory from Cardiff University, and is a Fellow at the university's Collingwood and British Idealism Centre. He teaches economics at SUNY Purchase is the author of Economics for Real People (Ludwig von Mises Institute)
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Rating details

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