English philosopher and political theorist who wrote about philosophy of history, philosophy of religion, aesthetics, and philosophy of law. He is widely regarded as one of the most important conservative thinkers of the 20th century, although he has sometimes been characterized as a liberal thinker.
Oakeshott was dismayed by the descent into political extremism that took place in Europe in the 1930s, and his surviving lectures from this period reveal a dislike of National Socialism and Marxism.
In 1945, Oakeshott was demobilized and returned to Cambridge for two years. In 1947, he left Cambridge for Nuffield College, Oxford. After only a year, he secured an appointment as Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics (LSE), succeeding Harold Laski. He was deeply unsympathetic to the student action at LSE that occurred in the late 1960s, on the grounds that it disrupted the aims of the university. Oakeshott retired from LSE in 1969.
Oakeshott refused an offer of Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, for which he was proposed by Margaret Thatcher.
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