Theology & Philosophy

Order, Individuality, and the Free Society in Hegel, Toennies, and Oakeshott


Making the fundamental distinctions between simple projects that can be organized as specific enterprises, and more complex civil associations that cannot, grew out of the relationship of customary practices and abstract rules in the formation of modern civil society. We took up these ideas in order of their most significant modern contributors: Friedrich Georg Hegel on individuality and the state in history, Ferdinand Toennies on the distinction between community and society, and Michael Oakeshott's engagement with these very same categories and ideas in his famous essays on civil and enterprise associations.


Conference Readings

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Introduction to The Philosophy of History: with selections from The Philosophy of Right. Edited by Leo Rauch. Indianapolis: Hackett Classics, 1988.

Hegel, G. W. F. Elements of the Philosophy of Right. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Oakeshott, Michael. Michael Oakeshott: The Politics of Faith and the Politics of Scepticism. Edited by Timothy Fuller. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.

Oakeshott, Michael. On Human Conduct. Oxford: Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991 [1975].

Tönnies, Ferdinand. Community and Civil Society. Edited by Jose Harris. Translated by Jose Harris and Margaret Hollis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.