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Download e-book for iPad: Against the current : essays in the history of ideas by Isaiah Berlin, Henry Hardy, Roger Hausheer, Mark Lilla

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

ISBN-10: 1400843235

ISBN-13: 9781400843237

During this striking selection of essays, Isaiah Berlin, one of many nice thinkers of the 20 th 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 resourceful new version, Berlin brings to existence unique minds that swam opposed to the present in their times--and nonetheless problem traditional knowledge. In a new Read more...

summary: during this awesome choice of essays, Isaiah Berlin, one of many nice thinkers of the 20 th 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 imaginitive new version, Berlin brings to existence 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 extra illuminates a few of its subject matters, famous essayist Mark

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Extra resources for Against the current : essays in the history of ideas

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But Berlin’s own writings on them point to deeper issues still. By reading widely and sympathetically in their writings, Berlin began to understand that what was ultimately at stake for them was not language or epistemology, or even politics in the narrow sense. It was the human good, broadly conceived. What the Counter-Enlightenment saw in the works of Francis Bacon and René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, Immanuel Kant and G. E. Lessing, Voltaire and the editors of the Encyclopédie was a blind act of human self-assertion whose consequences no one (except perhaps Jean-Jacques Rousseau) had bothered to calculate.

It’s a very good story. I’ve often wished, though, that he hadn’t told it. Berlin’s account of his decision baffled friends and colleagues back at Oxford, and left the impression that he had taken a step down the intellectual ladder. It occurred to no one at the time that moving to the history of ideas might actually represent a step up. Philosophy was philosophy, history was history, and that was that. No one in Britain called himself a historian of ideas, and no one wrote the kind of wide-ranging, labyrinthine essays connecting thinkers over many centuries that Berlin perfected.

L. Austin and A. J. Ayer. Logical positivism had just come into its own in Britain, and Wittgenstein was already developing ideas about language that would challenge it. Something seemed to be happening. But as the war dragged on Berlin wondered whether this style of philosophy was really for him. History had intruded into his life a second time (the first was when he witnessed the Russian Revolution as a young boy in Petrograd) and he had just spent several years in the United States writing influential reports to the British government about the American war effort.

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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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