Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment Book

Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment


  • Author : Laurence Brockliss
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 2016-10-20
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 272
  • ISBN 10 : 9780191086540

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Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment Excerpt :

Isaiah Berlin (1909-97) was recognized as Britain's most distinguished historian of ideas. Many of his essays discussed thinkers of what this book calls the 'long Enlightenment' (from Vico in the eighteenth century to Marx and Mill in the nineteenth, with Machiavelli as a precursor). Yet he is particularly associated with the concept of the 'Counter-Enlightenment', comprising those thinkers (Herder, Hamann, and even Kant) who in Berlin's view reacted against the Enlightenment's naïve rationalism, scientism and progressivism, its assumption that human beings were basically homogeneous and could be rendered happy by the remorseless application of scientific reason. Berlin's 'Counter-Enlightenment' has received critical attention, but no-one has yet analysed the understanding of the Enlightenment on which it rests. Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment explores the development of Berlin's conception of the Enlightenment, noting its curious narrowness, its ambivalence, and its indebtedness to a specific German intellectual tradition. Contributors to the book examine his comments on individual writers, showing how they were inflected by his questionable assumptions, and arguing that some of the writers he assigned to the 'Counter-Enlightenment' have closer affinities to the Enlightenment than he recognized. By locating Berlin in the history of Enlightenment studies, this book also makes a contribution to defining the historical place of his work and to evaluating his intellectual legacy.

Three Critics of the Enlightenment Book

Three Critics of the Enlightenment


  • Author : Isaiah Berlin
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Release Date : 2013-11-10
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 576
  • ISBN 10 : 9781400848522

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Three Critics of the Enlightenment Excerpt :

Isaiah Berlin was deeply admired during his life, but his full contribution was perhaps underestimated because of his preference for the long essay form. The efforts of Henry Hardy to edit Berlin's work and reintroduce it to a broad, eager readership have gone far to remedy this. Now, Princeton is pleased to return to print, under one cover, Berlin's essays on these celebrated and captivating intellectual portraits: Vico, Hamann, and Herder. These essays on three relatively uncelebrated thinkers are not marginal ruminations, but rather among Berlin's most important studies in the history of ideas. They are integral to his central project: the critical recovery of the ideas of the Counter-Enlightenment and the explanation of its appeal and consequences--both positive and (often) tragic. Giambattista Vico was the anachronistic and impoverished Neapolitan philosopher sometimes credited with founding the human sciences. He opposed Enlightenment methods as cold and fallacious. J. G. Hamann was a pious, cranky dilettante in a peripheral German city. But he was brilliant enough to gain the audience of Kant, Goethe, and Moses Mendelssohn. In Hamann's chaotic and long-ignored writings, Berlin finds the first strong attack on Enlightenment rationalism and a wholly original source of the coming swell of romanticism. Johann Gottfried Herder, the progenitor of populism and European nationalism, rejected universalism and rationalism but championed cultural pluralism. Individually, these fascinating intellectual biographies reveal Berlin's own great intelligence, learning, and generosity, as well as the passionate genius of his subjects. Together, they constitute an arresting interpretation of romanticism's precursors. In Hamann's railings and the more considered writings of Vico and Herder, Berlin finds critics of the Enlightenment worthy of our careful attention. But he identifies much that is misguided in their rejection of universal values, rationalism, and science. With his c

Isaiah Berlin s Counter Enlightenment Book

Isaiah Berlin s Counter Enlightenment


  • Author : Isaiah Berlin
  • Publisher : American Philosophical Society
  • Release Date : 2003
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 196
  • ISBN 10 : 0871699354

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Isaiah Berlin s Counter Enlightenment Excerpt :

As the essays in this collection make plain, Isaiah Berlin invented neither the term "Counter-Enlightenment" nor the concept. However, more than any other figure since the eighteenth century, Berlin appropriated the term, made it the heart of his own political thought, and imbued his interpretations of particular thinkers with its meanings and significance. His diverse treatment of writers at the margins of the Enlightenment, who themselves reflected upon what they took to be its central currents, were at once historical and philosophical. Berlin sought to show that our patterns of culture, manufactured by ourselves, must be explained differently from the ways in which we seek to fathom laws of nature. Many of the essays in this volume were prepared for the International Seminar in memory of Sir Isaiah Berlin, held at the School of History in Tel Aviv University during the academic year 1999-2000.

Rousseau  A Very Short Introduction Book

Rousseau A Very Short Introduction


  • Author : Robert Wokler
  • Publisher : OUP Oxford
  • Release Date : 2001-08-23
  • Genre: Political Science
  • Pages : 188
  • ISBN 10 : 9780191604423

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Rousseau A Very Short Introduction Excerpt :

One of the most profound thinkers of modern history, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) was a central figure of the European Enlightenment. He was also its most formidable critic, condemning the political, economic, theological, and sexual trappings of civilization along lines that would excite the enthusiasm of romantic individualists and radical revolutionaries alike. In this study of Rousseau's life and works Robert Wokler shows how his philosophy of history, his theories of music and politics, his fiction, educational and religious writings, and even his botany, were all inspired by visionary ideals of mankind's self-realization in a condition of unfettered freedom. He explains how, in regressing to classical republicanism, ancient mythology, direct communion with God, and solitude, Rousseau anticipated some post-modernist rejections of the Enlightenment as well. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Cambridge Companion to Isaiah Berlin Book

The Cambridge Companion to Isaiah Berlin


  • Author : Joshua Cherniss
  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press
  • Release Date : 2018-10-04
  • Genre: History
  • Pages : 300
  • ISBN 10 : 9781107138506

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The Cambridge Companion to Isaiah Berlin Excerpt :

Isaiah Berlin remains one of the seminal political philosophers of the twentieth century. This book explains his enduring relevance as we face the challenges of the twenty-first.

Three Critics of the Enlightenment Book

Three Critics of the Enlightenment


  • Author : Isaiah Berlin
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Release Date : 2013-11-10
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 576
  • ISBN 10 : 9780691157658

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Three Critics of the Enlightenment Excerpt :

Isaiah Berlin was deeply admired during his life, but his full contribution was perhaps underestimated because of his preference for the long essay form. The efforts of Henry Hardy to edit Berlin's work and reintroduce it to a broad, eager readership have gone far to remedy this. Now, Princeton is pleased to return to print, under one cover, Berlin's essays on these celebrated and captivating intellectual portraits: Vico, Hamann, and Herder. These essays on three relatively uncelebrated thinkers are not marginal ruminations, but rather among Berlin's most important studies in the history of ideas. They are integral to his central project: the critical recovery of the ideas of the Counter-Enlightenment and the explanation of its appeal and consequences--both positive and (often) tragic. Giambattista Vico was the anachronistic and impoverished Neapolitan philosopher sometimes credited with founding the human sciences. He opposed Enlightenment methods as cold and fallacious. J. G. Hamann was a pious, cranky dilettante in a peripheral German city. But he was brilliant enough to gain the audience of Kant, Goethe, and Moses Mendelssohn. In Hamann's chaotic and long-ignored writings, Berlin finds the first strong attack on Enlightenment rationalism and a wholly original source of the coming swell of romanticism. Johann Gottfried Herder, the progenitor of populism and European nationalism, rejected universalism and rationalism but championed cultural pluralism. Individually, these fascinating intellectual biographies reveal Berlin's own great intelligence, learning, and generosity, as well as the passionate genius of his subjects. Together, they constitute an arresting interpretation of romanticism's precursors. In Hamann's railings and the more considered writings of Vico and Herder, Berlin finds critics of the Enlightenment worthy of our careful attention. But he identifies much that is misguided in their rejection of universal values, rationalism, and science. With his c

Two Concepts of Liberty Book

Two Concepts of Liberty


  • Author : Isaiah Berlin
  • Publisher : Unknown
  • Release Date : 1959
  • Genre: Liberty
  • Pages : 57
  • ISBN 10 : OCLC:310086362

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Two Concepts of Liberty Excerpt :

A Mind and Its Time Book

A Mind and Its Time


  • Author : Joshua L. Cherniss
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 2013-03-28
  • Genre: History
  • Pages : 264
  • ISBN 10 : 9780199673261

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A Mind and Its Time Excerpt :

A detailed study of Isaiah Berlin: historian, philosopher, and political theorist. Situates his evolving ideas in the context of British society and world politics. Offers a new interpretation of Berlin's influential writings on liberty and his debts to philosophy, and makes clear his relationship to the political debates of his times.

The Age of Enlightenment Book
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The Age of Enlightenment


  • Author : Isaiah Berlin
  • Publisher : Plume
  • Release Date : 1984
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 282
  • ISBN 10 : 0452009049

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The Age of Enlightenment Excerpt :

Selected basic writings of Locke, Berkeley, Voltaire, Hume, Reid, Condillac, Hammann and others.

The Power Of Ideas Book

The Power Of Ideas


  • Author : Isaiah Berlin
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Release Date : 2012-06-30
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 256
  • ISBN 10 : 9781446496930

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The Power Of Ideas Excerpt :

'Over a hundred years ago, the German poet Heine warned the French not to underestimate the power of ideas: philosophical concepts nurtured in the stillness of a professor's study could destroy a civilisation' - Isaiah Berlin, Two Concepts of Liberty, 1958. The nineteen essays collected here show Isaiah Berlin at his most lucid: these short, introductory pieces provide the perfect starting point for the reader new to his work. Their linking theme is the crucial social and political role of ideas, and of their progenitors. The subjects vary widely - from philosophy to education, from Russia to Israel, from Marxism to romanticism - and the appositeness of Heine's warning is exemplified on a broad front. The contents include Berlin's last essay - a retrospective autobiographical survey and the classic statement of his Zionist views. As a whole the book exhibits the full range of his expertise, and demonstrates the enormously engaging individuality, as well as the power, of his own ideas.

Against the Current Book

Against the Current


  • Author : Isaiah Berlin
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Release Date : 2013-06-02
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 584
  • ISBN 10 : 9781400843237

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Against the Current Excerpt :

In this outstanding collection of essays, Isaiah Berlin, one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century, discusses the importance of dissenters in the history of ideas--among them Machiavelli, Vico, Montesquieu, Herzen, and Sorel. With his unusual powers of imaginative re-creation, Berlin brings to life original minds that swam against the current of their times--and still challenge conventional wisdom. In a new foreword to this corrected edition, which also includes a new appendix of letters in which Berlin discusses and further illuminates some of its topics, noted essayist Mark Lilla argues that Berlin's decision to give up a philosophy fellowship and become a historian of ideas represented not an abandonment of philosophy but a decision to do philosophy by other, perhaps better, means. "His instinct told him," Lilla writes, "that you learn more about an idea as an idea when you know something about its genesis and understand why certain people found it compelling and were spurred to action by it." This collection of fascinating intellectual portraits is a rich demonstration of that belief.

Isaiah Berlin Book

Isaiah Berlin


  • Author : Michael Ignatieff
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Release Date : 2011-01-31
  • Genre: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 384
  • ISBN 10 : 9781446425824

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Isaiah Berlin Excerpt :

Isaiah Berlin refused to write an autobiography, but he agreed to talk about himself - and so for ten years, he allowed Michael Ignatieff to interview him. Isaiah Berlin (1909-97) was one of the greatest and most humane of modern philosophers; historian of the Russian intellgentisia biographer of Marx, pioneering scholar of the Romantic movement and defender of the liberal idea of freedom. His own life was caught up in the most powerful currents of the century. The son of a Riga timber merchant, he witnessed the Russian Revolution, was plunged into suburban school life and the ferment of 1930s Oxford; he became part of the British intellectual establishment During the war, he as at the heart of Anglo-American diplomacy in Washington; afterwards in Moscow he saw the grim despair of Stalinism. The book is full of memorable meetings - with Virginia Woolf and Sigmund Freud, with Churchill, with Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova. Yet Ignatieff is not afraid to delve into Berlin's conflicts: his jewish idealism, his deep aspirations. This is a work of great subtelty and penetration, exhilarating and intimate, powerful and profound.

Freedom and Its Betrayal Book

Freedom and Its Betrayal


  • Author : Isaiah Berlin
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Release Date : 2014-05-25
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 336
  • ISBN 10 : 9781400851430

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Freedom and Its Betrayal Excerpt :

These celebrated lectures constitute one of Isaiah Berlin's most concise, accessible, and convincing presentations of his views on human freedom—views that later found expression in such famous works as "Two Concepts of Liberty" and were at the heart of his lifelong work on the Enlightenment and its critics. When they were broadcast on BBC radio in 1952, the lectures created a sensation and confirmed Berlin’s reputation as an intellectual who could speak to the public in an appealing and compelling way. A recording of only one of the lectures has survived, but Henry Hardy has recreated them all here from BBC transcripts and Berlin’s annotated drafts. Hardy has also added, as an appendix to this new edition, a revealing text of "Two Concepts" based on Berlin’s earliest surviving drafts, which throws light on some of the issues raised by the essay. And, in a new foreword, historian Enrique Krauze traces the origin of Berlin’s idea of negative freedom to his rejection of the notion that the creation of the State of Israel left Jews with only two choices: to emigrate to Israel or to renounce Jewish identity.

The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin Book

The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin


  • Author : Johnny Lyons
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Release Date : 2020-01-23
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 304
  • ISBN 10 : 9781350121447

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The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin Excerpt :

'I gradually came to the conclusion that I should prefer a field in which one could hope to know more at the end of one's life than when one had begun.' So thought Isaiah Berlin toward the end of the Second World War, when he decided to bid farewell to philosophy in favour of the history of ideas. In The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin Johnny Lyons shows that Berlin's approach to intellectual history amounted to the pursuit of philosophy by other means, creating a more original and fruitful engagement with his lifelong subject. By recasting Berlin as a philosopher who took humanity and history seriously, Lyons reveals the underlying unity of his wide-ranging and disparate ideas and throws into sharp relief the enduring moral charm of his outlook. Lyons emphasises aspects of Berlin's thinking that have largely been neglected. These include his recognition of historical contingency and of the importance of truth in human affairs, his scepticism about the so-called implications of determinism for our everyday understanding of freedom, and his deeper reasons for thinking that negative liberty should be valued. This introduction to Berlin's thought, and particularly its examination of these mainly overlooked elements of his outlook, reveals a new Berlin, one with surprising and urgent contemporary relevance to the debates that continue to dominate philosophy, politics and intellectual history today.

Concepts and Categories Book

Concepts and Categories


  • Author : Isaiah Berlin
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Release Date : 2012-08-31
  • Genre: Literary Collections
  • Pages : 240
  • ISBN 10 : 9781448155460

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Concepts and Categories Excerpt :

Although Isaiah Berlin liked to say that he left philosophy for the history of ideas after the Second World War, there is a decided continuity between his more purely philosophical writings, most of which are collected in this volume, and the more historical work for which he is better known. Included here are Berlin's early arguments against logical positivism and later essays which more evidently reflect his life-long interest in political theory, intellectual history and the philosophy of history. In two related pieces he gives his view on the philosopher's task, to uncover the various models - the concepts and categories - that we bring to our experience, and that help to form it. In his own words 'The goal of philosophy is always the same, to assist men to understand themselves and thus operate in the open, and not wildly, in the dark.'