The Making of Modern Liberalism
Princeton University Press (Footprint Books), $62 hb, 679 pp, 9780691148403
In a famous essay on poetry, English philosopher Michael Oakeshott evoked the metaphor of conversation to describe how people share and discuss ideas. A conversation, suggested Oakeshott, allows a continuous discussion between past and present, between the thought of earlier generations and the pressing needs of the present. A conversation is not a search for truth or even facts, but an endless dialogue among diverse voices.