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The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin

The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin

Authors
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Year 23/01/2020
Pages 304
Version paperback
Readership level College/higher education
ISBN 9781350121430
Categories Western philosophy, from c 1900 -, Social & political philosophy
$33.06 (with VAT)
124.00 PLN / €27.32 / £23.64
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Book description

'I gradually came to the conclusion that I should prefer a field in which one could hope to know more at the end of one's life than when one had begun.' So thought Isaiah Berlin toward the end of the Second World War, when he decided to bid farewell to philosophy in favour of the history of ideas. In The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin Johnny Lyons shows that Berlin's approach to intellectual history amounted to the pursuit of philosophy by other means, creating a more original and fruitful engagement with his lifelong subject. By recasting Berlin as a philosopher who took humanity and history seriously, Lyons reveals the underlying unity of his wide-ranging and disparate ideas and throws into sharp relief the enduring moral charm of his outlook. Lyons emphasises aspects of Berlin's thinking that have largely been neglected. These include his recognition of historical contingency and of the importance of truth in human affairs, his scepticism about the so-called implications of determinism for our everyday understanding of freedom, and his deeper reasons for thinking that negative liberty should be valued. This introduction to Berlin's thought, and particularly its examination of these mainly overlooked elements of his outlook, reveals a new Berlin, one with surprising and urgent contemporary relevance to the debates that continue to dominate philosophy, politics and intellectual history today.

The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin

Table of contents

Preface
Foreword by Henry Hardy
Abbreviations
Acknowledgements

Part 1: General Introduction
Chapter 1 - The Nature of Berlin's Political Philosophy

Part 2: Philosophy
Chapter 2 - In the beginning...
Chapter 3 - Kant's Copernican Revolution
Chapter 4 - The Humanistic Turn
Chapter 5 - Taking History Seriously
Chapter 6 - Interlude: Taking Stock
Chapter 7 - Philosophy, History and Human Understanding

Part Three: Contingency
Chapter 8 - Philosophy and Belief
Chapter 9 - The Logic Choppers
Chapter 10 - The Postmodern Appropriation
Chapter 11 - The Hedgehog's Revenge
Chapter 12 - What Are We Left With
Chapter 13 - Reason, History and Liberalism

Part Four: Freedom
Chapter 14 - Theory versus Practice
Chapter 15 - The Central Problem of Freedom
Chapter 16 - Is Determinism Liveable?
Chapter 17 - Truth, Freedom and Liberalism
Chapter 18 - Reimagining the Point and Authority of Philosophy

Part 5: Authenticity
Chapter 19 - Framing the Debate
Chapter 20 - Three Romantics: Hamann, Herder and Kant
Chapter 21 - Smashing the Jigsaw
Chapter 22 - The Liberalism of Romanticism

Epilogue

Bibliography

Index

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