VARIETY WITHOUT PLURALISM. ON M. OAKESHOTT’S CONSERVATISM
This paper gives a critical interpretation of Michael Oakeshott’s political philosophy. His project of “the politics of skepticism” is examined as a response to the challenge of social diversity. The meanings of “politics”, “conversation”, “history” and “poetry” in Oakeshott are unearthed and the hierarchy among the politics as ruling, the politics as practice and the politics as conversation is revealed. The guiding principle of consistency in political reasoning is compared with other conceptions of consistency. In the critical part, the majoritarian democracy and political pluralism (as irreducible to bare social diversity) are defended. The argument against Oakeshott is built on the possibility of a political conversation without “the only valid argument”.