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This article attempts to make sense of Oakeshott's enigmatic comment in 'On Human Conduct' that it was perhaps injudicious of Hegel to use the word state in the Philosophy of Right for his conception of a bounded association. But the article does not confine itself to making sense of Oakeshott's meaning: it compares Oakeshott’s conception of societas to Hegel's conception of der Staat, Oakeshott's conception of philosophy as an unconditional consideration of conditional objects with Hegel’s conception of philosophy as a reflexive consideration of the rationality immanent within unconditional objects, and Oakeshott's avoidance of divinity with Hegel's involvement in it. It is part of the purpose of this article to illustrate the suggestion that conceptions of God and conceptions of the state are closely related in the thought of both philosophers -- and possibly in all philosophy: and that the problem of the state is therefore a problem as much religious as secular

Keywords: Der staat; God; Hegel; Oakeshott; State; societas

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey., Email:

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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