Criticism

Read e-book online Against the current : essays in the history of ideas PDF

By Isaiah Berlin, Henry Hardy, Roger Hausheer, Mark Lilla

ISBN-10: 1400843235

ISBN-13: 9781400843237

During this impressive number of essays, Isaiah Berlin, one of many nice thinkers of the 20th century, discusses the significance of dissenters within the background of ideas--among them Machiavelli, Vico, Montesquieu, Herzen, and Sorel. along with his strange powers of creative new edition, Berlin brings to lifestyles unique minds that swam opposed to the present in their times--and nonetheless problem traditional knowledge. In a new Read more...

summary: during this extraordinary number of essays, Isaiah Berlin, one of many nice thinkers of the 20th century, discusses the significance of dissenters within the historical past of ideas--among them Machiavelli, Vico, Montesquieu, Herzen, and Sorel. together with his strange powers of ingenious new edition, Berlin brings to lifestyles unique minds that swam opposed to the present in their times--and nonetheless problem traditional knowledge. In a brand new foreword to this corrected version, which additionally features a new appendix of letters during which Berlin discusses and additional illuminates a few of its themes, famous essayist Mark

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I should like to express my sincere thanks to this most promising young scholar. Isaiah Berlin September 1978 EDITOR’S PREFACE It is given to no human being to stereotype a set of truths, and walk safely by their guidance with his mind’s eye closed. J. S. Mill1 THIS IS THE SECOND EDITION of one of seven essay collections which appeared under my editorship in Isaiah Berlin’s lifetime. 3 The new collections (which, as Berlin generously recognised, transformed his reputation), together with six posthumous volumes,1 in a number of which I published further previously unpublished work, made his oeuvre much more accessible than it had been before.

He let them talk and he listened, even if what they expressed came out in shouts or laments, or he found their ultimate views, like Joseph de Maistre’s, utterly hateful. They became ‘cases’ offering lessons philosophy could learn from, even if their writings looked far removed from philosophy. This is what Berlin once wrote about J. G. Hamann, whose angry, brilliant, quasi-mystical writings inspired the German Romantics and modern philosophical anti-rationalism: Hamann speaks for those who hear the cry of the toad beneath the harrow1 [ … ].

Thus where Ayer persisted in the path of logical positivism, buttressing, developing and refining his central doctrines, and Austin, like the later Wittgenstein, turned to a close and detailed analysis of the concepts of ordinary language, Berlin was drawn increasingly, in his search for answers to some of the central questions of philosophy, to a concrete historical study of some of the major intellectual developments in Western culture since the eighteenth century. 1 IV What exactly is the role of philosophy for Berlin?

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Against the current : essays in the history of ideas by Isaiah Berlin, Henry Hardy, Roger Hausheer, Mark Lilla


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