Oxford Political Thought Conference

by Chris Bertram on January 7, 2004

I’m off to the Oxford Political Thought Conference (programme “here in Word format”:http://www.bham.ac.uk/POLSIS/department/Oxford%20Conference%202004.doc ) tomorrow. I’ve never been before, but I’m very much looking forward to it. Jonathan Israel, author of the monumental “Radical Enlightenment”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0199254567/junius-20 is speaking, as is Michael Otsuka whose “Libertarianism Without Inequality”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0199243956/junius-20 I’ve been discussing on Crooked Timber. I’m also hoping to meet up with Chris Brooke of the “Virtual Stoa”:http://users.ox.ac.uk/~magd1368/weblog/blogger.html , who has “recently blogged”:http://users.ox.ac.uk/~magd1368/weblog/2004_01_01_archive.html#107332397845568991 about both Jonathan Israel and about Sankar Muthu’s new “Enlightenment Against Empire”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0691115176/junius-20 (of which I’ve read a chapter and a half and may comment on soonish).



Conrad Barwa 01.07.04 at 6:23 pm

Jonathan Israel’s book on the Enlightenment is a great read, and one of the relatively few books published recently that has a high re-readibility value. His talk should be interesting, if it is anything like his writing.


Ophelia Benson 01.07.04 at 7:40 pm

Is it good, apart from its readability?


DJW 01.07.04 at 9:20 pm

Do you know if abstracts or papers are going to be made available on-line? I’m preparing a comparative political theory course and would love to get a peak at Antony Black’s paper.


Conrad Barwa 01.09.04 at 5:26 pm

Is it good, apart from its readability?

Well I liked it; but then I am not a professional philosopher, so I can’t assess it critically enough at an academic level. But I think it is a worthwhile read for any interested in the Enlightenment both as a historical process and as a way of thinking. It also has the merit of looking at Spinoza’s role in influencing many of the key thinkers and movements in this period; something of an untold story and of great relevance given the importance of Spinoza for later modernist thinkers.

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