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

During this remarkable selection 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 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 new Read more...

summary: during this remarkable selection of essays, Isaiah Berlin, one of many nice thinkers of the 20th century, discusses the significance of dissenters within the heritage of ideas--among them Machiavelli, Vico, Montesquieu, Herzen, and Sorel. together with his strange powers of creative 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 incorporates a new appendix of letters within which Berlin discusses and additional illuminates a few of its issues, famous essayist Mark

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

During this remarkable selection 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 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 new Read more...

summary: during this remarkable selection of essays, Isaiah Berlin, one of many nice thinkers of the 20th century, discusses the significance of dissenters within the heritage of ideas--among them Machiavelli, Vico, Montesquieu, Herzen, and Sorel. together with his strange powers of creative 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 incorporates a new appendix of letters within which Berlin discusses and additional illuminates a few of its issues, famous essayist Mark

Show description

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Against the current : essays in the history of ideas

During this amazing 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 inventive new edition, Berlin brings to lifestyles unique minds that swam opposed to the present in their times--and nonetheless problem traditional knowledge.

Additional info for Against the current : essays in the history of ideas

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It didn’t matter if the writing was obscure or the reasoning sometimes opaque. Berlin had learned that if you study them with philosophical intent, second-rate minds grappling with first-rate problems can teach you more than first-rate minds lost in the shrubbery. ) He clearly enjoyed picking up the crumbling collected works of a half-forgotten thinker, or one considered beyond the pale, and finding high philosophical drama in them. His approach was the exact contrary of that taken by today’s intellectual historians, who seem determined to place thinkers into such narrow social contexts that the wider significance of their ideas disappears.

They are not intended directly to illustrate or support (or for that matter attack or undermine) any single historical or political theory, doctrine or ideology; they range from such wholly diverse figures as Marx, Disraeli and Sorel to topics as apparently remote from one another as nationalism and the theory of knowledge; they are wholly exploratory and undogmatic, raising more tentative but often deeply unsettling questions than they claim to answer; and, above all, they represent an utterly independent, scrupulously open-minded, but deeply passionate search for truth.

The results can be surprising. An example. As a young man Hamann underwent a religious crisis while living alone in London, after which he turned violently against the German Aufklärer, including his old friend Immanuel Kant. But on that trip he also discovered David Hume’s scepticism and became a leading proponent of it in Germany. This was unexpected. After all, Hume’s arguments about reason’s inability to infer cause from effect were intended to undermine the claims of religion. Hamann, though, argued that by denying religion the support of reason, Hume had also protected it from rational scrutiny, leaving the field open for faith.

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