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The Hedgehog And The Fox

Author: Isaiah Berlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400846633
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"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." This ancient Greek aphorism, preserved in a fragment from the poet Archilochus, describes the central thesis of Isaiah Berlin's masterly essay on Leo Tolstoy and the philosophy of history, the subject of the epilogue to War and Peace. Although there have been many interpretations of the adage, Berlin uses it to mark a fundamental distinction between human beings who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things and those who relate everything to a central, all-embracing system. Applied to Tolstoy, the saying illuminates a paradox that helps explain his philosophy of history: Tolstoy was a fox, but believed in being a hedgehog. One of Berlin's most celebrated works, this extraordinary essay offers profound insights about Tolstoy, historical understanding, and human psychology. This new edition features a revised text that supplants all previous versions, English translations of the many passages in foreign languages, a new foreword in which Berlin biographer Michael Ignatieff explains the enduring appeal of Berlin's essay, and a new appendix that provides rich context, including excerpts from reviews and Berlin's letters, as well as a startling new interpretation of Archilochus's epigram.

The Roots Of Romanticism

Author: Isaiah Berlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400846692
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In The Roots of Romanticism, one of the twentieth century's most influential philosophers dissects and assesses a movement that changed the course of history. Brilliant, fresh, immediate, and eloquent, these celebrated Mellon Lectures are a bravura intellectual performance. Isaiah Berlin surveys the many attempts to define romanticism, distills its essence, traces its developments from its first stirrings to its apotheosis, and shows how it still permeates our outlook. He ranges over a cast of some of the greatest thinkers and artists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including Kant, Rousseau, Diderot, Schiller, the Schlegels, Novalis, Goethe, Blake, Byron, and Beethoven. The ideas and attitudes of these and other figures, Berlin argues, helped to shape twentieth-century nationalism, existentialism, democracy, totalitarianism, and our ideas about heroic individuals, self-fulfillment, and the exalted place of art. This new edition, illustrated for the first time, also features a new foreword by philosopher John Gray, in which he discusses Berlin's belief that the influence of romanticism has been unpredictable and contradictory in the extreme, fuelling anti-liberal political movements but also reinvigorating liberalism; a revised text; and a new appendix that includes some of Berlin's correspondence about the lectures and the reactions to them.

Against The Current

Author: Isaiah Berlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400843235
Size: 26.66 MB
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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 And The Politics Of Freedom

Author: Bruce Baum
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135132380
Size: 52.19 MB
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Since his death in 1997, Isaiah Berlin’s writings have generated continual interest among scholars and educated readers, especially in regard to his ideas about liberalism, value pluralism, and "positive" and "negative" liberty. Most books on Berlin have examined his general political theory, but this volume uses a contemporary perspective to focus specifically on his ideas about freedom and liberty. Isaiah Berlin and the Politics of Freedom brings together an integrated collection of essays by noted and emerging political theorists that commemorate in a critical spirit the recent 50th anniversary of Isaiah Berlin’s famous lecture and essay, "Two Concepts of Liberty." The contributors use Berlin’s essay as an occasion to rethink the larger politics of freedom from a twenty-first century standpoint, bringing Berlin’s ideas into conversation with current political problems and perspectives rooted in postcolonial theory, feminist theory, democratic theory, and critical social theory. The editors begin by surveying the influence of Berlin’s essay and the range of debates about freedom that it has inspired. Contributors’ chapters then offer various analyses such as competing ways to contextualize Berlin’s essay, how to reconsider Berlin’s ideas in light of struggles over national self-determination, European colonialism, and racism, and how to view Berlin’s controversial distinction between so-called "negative liberty" and "positive liberty." By relating Berlin’s thinking about freedom to competing contemporary views of the politics of freedom, this book will be significant for both scholars of Berlin as well as people who are interested in larger debates about the meaning and conditions of freedom.

The Power Of Ideas

Author: Isaiah Berlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691092768
Size: 29.28 MB
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A collection of powerful essays by the great scholar covers a rich selection of subjects, including Marxism, romanticism, Russia, Israel, liberty, intellectualism, and much more.

Hidden In Plain View

Author: Gary Saul Morson
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804717182
Size: 27.42 MB
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For decades, the formal peculiarities of War and Peace disturbed Russian and Western critics, who attributed both the anomalous structure and the literary power of the book to Tolstoy's "primitive," unruly genius. Using that critical history as a starting point, this volume recaptures the overwhelming sense of strangeness felt by the work's first readers and thereby illuminates Tolstoy's theoretical and narratological concerns. The author demonstrates that the formal peculiarities of War and Peace were deliberate, designed to elude what Tolstoy regarded as the falsifying constraints of all narratives, both novelistic and historical. Developing and challenging the ideas of Mikhail Bakhtin, Morson explores Tolstoy's account of the work's composition in light of various myths of the creative process. He proposes a theory of "creation by potential" that incorporates Tolstoy's main concerns: the "openness" of each historical moment; the role of chance in history and within narrative patterns; and the efficacy of ordinary events, "hidden in plain view," in shaping history and individual psychology. In his reading of Tolstoy, he demonstrates how we read literary works within the "penumbral text" of associated theories of creativity.

The Hedgehog The Fox And The Magister S Pox

Author: Stephen Jay Gould
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674061667
Size: 43.86 MB
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In his final book, Gould offers a surprising and nuanced study of the complex relationship between our two great ways of knowing: science and the humanities, twin realms of knowledge that have been divided against each other for far too long.

Personal Impressions

Author: Isaiah Berlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691088587
Size: 15.84 MB
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This remarkable collection contains Isaiah Berlin's appreciations of seventeen people of unusual distinction in the intellectual or political world, sometimes both. The names of many of them are familiar: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, and others. With the exception of Roosevelt, he met them all and knew many of them well. For this expanded edition, four new portraits have been added, including those of Virginia Woolf and Edmund Wilson. This volume also contains a vivid and moving account of Berlin's meetings in Russia with Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova in 1945 and 1956. Perhaps the most fascinating of these "personal impressions" is found in the epilogue, where Berlin describes the three strands in his own personality: Russian, English, and Jewish.

Tolstoy On War

Author: Rick McPeak
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801465451
Size: 14.32 MB
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In 1812, Napoleon launched his fateful invasion of Russia. Five decades later, Leo Tolstoy published War and Peace, a fictional representation of the era that is one of the most celebrated novels in world literature. The novel contains a coherent (though much disputed) philosophy of history and portrays the history and military strategy of its time in a manner that offers lessons for the soldiers of today. To mark the two hundredth anniversary of the French invasion of Russia and acknowledge the importance of Tolstoy's novel for our historical memory of its central events, Rick McPeak and Donna Tussing Orwin have assembled a distinguished group of scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds-literary criticism, history, social science, and philosophy-to provide fresh readings of the novel. The essays in Tolstoy On War focus primarily on the novel's depictions of war and history, and the range of responses suggests that these remain inexhaustible topics of debate. The result is a volume that opens fruitful new avenues of understanding War and Peace while providing a range of perspectives and interpretations without parallel in the vast literature on the novel.