• David McIlwainEmail author
Part of the Recovering Political Philosophy book series (REPOPH)


Michael Oakeshott and Leo Strauss are often discussed together in terms of their political conservatism. While recognizing the basis of this approach, McIlwain argues that Oakeshott and Strauss are better understood as committed to a politics of renaissance and enlightenment, respectively. For Oakeshott renaissance signified the triumph of the individual through the freedom of creativity and imagination. Oakeshott’s worldview had its origins in the “Judaic” tradition of free and contingent creation ex nihilo. For Strauss enlightenment meant the investigation of the universal problems in perpetuating the philosophical way of life amid the competing claims and demands of religion and politics. Strauss’s “Greek” worldview was oriented toward a permanent cosmos as fundamental to rationalism. In developing these opposing poles each envisioned the revitalization of Western civilization.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern History, Politics and International RelationsMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia

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