© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/187226310X490052 Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2010) 65–101 brill.nl/jph “ ‘What’s Gone and What’s Past Help . . .’: Oakeshott and Strauss on Historical Explanation” Kenneth B. McIntyre Assistant Professor of Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract Because of the public identiﬁ cation of both Michael Oakeshott and Leo Strauss as conservative political philosophers, there have been numerous comparisons of their political thought. Whatever similarities or diﬀ erences that do exist between them, it is certainly true that they shared a keen interest in the history of political thought. However, they understood the character of history in widely divergent ways. In the following paper, I examine the way in which each writer understood the logic of historical explanation, and there are two primary reasons for wanting to do so. First, there have been few examinations of either writer’s arguments con- cerning historical understanding, despite the stature of both as historians of polit- ical theory. Second, the diﬀ erences between Oakeshott and Strauss on history are central to two fundamentally opposed ways of understanding the past, each of which has manifested itself in the contemporary practice of
Journal of the Philosophy of History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
Keywords: contextualism; Leo Strauss; political theory; Michael Oakeshott; history
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