By Isaiah Berlin, Henry Hardy, Roger Hausheer, Mark Lilla
During this awesome number 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. together with his strange powers of ingenious 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 foreword to this corrected variation, which additionally incorporates a new appendix of letters during which Berlin discusses and extra illuminates a few of its subject matters, famous essayist Mark. 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. along 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 contains a new appendix of letters during which Berlin discusses and additional illuminates a few of its themes, famous essayist Mark
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Additional info for Against the current : essays in the history of ideas
Before our eyes, the granite bedrock of some of our most familiar and cherished beliefs may dissolve into shifting sand. At all events, many of Berlin’s essays have called into question, implicitly or explicitly, some of the most ancient and most deeply held assumptions of men, at any rate in the Western world. And though the analogy is far from perfect, the history of ideas at its best may be able to do for a culture what psychoanalysis claims to be able to do for the individual: to analyse and lay bare the origins and nature not, it is true, of motivation and hidden springs of behaviour, but of the often implicit, deeply embedded, formative ideas, concepts and categories – some of which are more provisional and open to historical change than could have seemed possible before the last half of the eighteenth century – by means of which we order and interpret a major part of our experience, above all in the peculiarly human spheres of moral, aesthetic and political activity; and in so doing enlarge both our self-knowledge and our sense of the scope of our creative liberty.
Henry Hardy (Princeton, 2000), 350, 354, 355. 2 Johann Georg Hamann, Briefwechsel, ed. Walther Ziesemer and Arthur Henkel (Wiesbaden and Frankfurt, 1955–79) (hereafter B), i 379. 30; Immanuel Kant, Correspondence, trans. and ed. Arnulf Zweig (Cambridge, 1992), 52. AUTHOR’S NOTE I HAVE NOTHING OF MY own to add to the essays on the history of ideas contained in this book, but I should be exceedingly remiss if I did not take this opportunity of offering my thanks to Mr Roger Hausheer for providing so sympathetic and luminous an account of my views on the topics discussed in these essays.
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. The dons could make nothing of them and considered him a dilettante. Berlin was too urbane to defend himself or engage in dull debates about methodology, and bore their contempt with the irony of a gentleman.
Against the current : essays in the history of ideas by Isaiah Berlin, Henry Hardy, Roger Hausheer, Mark Lilla