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Conservative Thinkers

The great figures of conservatism include Confucius, Pascal, Burke, Maistre, and Newman. Pascal and Newman are not usually thought of as conservative thinkers, Newman in particular is often considered a liberal, but both are major theorists of antimodernist epistemology and therefore fundamental to the struggle against liberalism.

Other major figures relevant to conservatism include Hayek, Mises, Oakeshott, and classical political thinkers generally. Hayek and Mises of course considered themselves liberals, with good reason, but their emphasis on knowledge that goes beyond what is individual and explicit begins to open doors out of liberalism and modernity, as indeed do the classical thinkers in various ways. Oakeshott of course is considered the great conservative, and he’s useful, but I consider him at heart modernist because of his tendency toward scepticism and relativism.