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Concepts and Categories: Philosophical Essays
     

Concepts and Categories: Philosophical Essays

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by Isaiah Berlin, Henry Hardy, Bernard Williams, Alasdair MacIntyre
 

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"The goal of philosophy is always the same, to assist men to understand themselves and thus to operate in the open, not wildly in the dark."--Isaiah Berlin

This volume of Isaiah Berlin's essays presents the sweep of his contributions to philosophy from his early participation in the debates surrounding logical positivism to his later work, which more

Overview

"The goal of philosophy is always the same, to assist men to understand themselves and thus to operate in the open, not wildly in the dark."--Isaiah Berlin

This volume of Isaiah Berlin's essays presents the sweep of his contributions to philosophy from his early participation in the debates surrounding logical positivism to his later work, which more evidently reflects his life-long interest in political theory, the history of ideas, and the philosophy of history. Here Berlin describes his view of the nature of philosophy, and of its main task: to uncover the various models and presuppositions--the concepts and categories--that men bring to their existence and that help form that existence. Throughout, his writing is informed by his intense consciousness of the plurality of values, the nature of historical understanding, and of the fragility of human freedom in the face of rigid dogma.

This new edition adds a number of previously uncollected pieces that throw further light on Berlin's central philosophical concerns, and a revealing exchange of letters with the editor and Bernard Williams about the genesis of the book.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Review of Books - Michael Ignatieff
He left the moral quality of his voice behind him, in the long tumbling paragraphs and the clauses within clauses of his best essays, and it is to these that we can turn when we need to remind ourselves what intellectual life can be: joyful, free of illusion, and vitally alive.
The Observer - Edward Crankshaw
Being a man of the liveliest and most ingenious intellect, [Berlin] must wish that reason could do more to transform the human condition radically and quickly; being a man of common sense he knows it cannot.
From the Publisher

"He left the moral quality of his voice behind him, in the long tumbling paragraphs and the clauses within clauses of his best essays, and it is to these that we can turn when we need to remind ourselves what intellectual life can be: joyful, free of illusion, and vitally alive."--Michael Ignatieff, The New York Review of Books

"Being a man of the liveliest and most ingenious intellect, [Berlin] must wish that reason could do more to transform the human condition radically and quickly; being a man of common sense he knows it cannot."--Edward Crankshaw, The Observer

The New York Review of Books
He left the moral quality of his voice behind him, in the long tumbling paragraphs and the clauses within clauses of his best essays, and it is to these that we can turn when we need to remind ourselves what intellectual life can be: joyful, free of illusion, and vitally alive.
— Michael Ignatieff
The Observer
Being a man of the liveliest and most ingenious intellect, [Berlin] must wish that reason could do more to transform the human condition radically and quickly; being a man of common sense he knows it cannot.
— Edward Crankshaw

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400848102
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/10/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
File size:
2 MB

What People are Saying About This

Michael Ignatieff
In a dark century, he showed what a life of the mind should be: skeptical, ironical, dispassionate and free.

Meet the Author

Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) was one of the leading intellectual historians of the twentieth century and the founding president of Wolfson College, University of Oxford. His many books include The Hedgehog and the Fox, The Crooked Timber of Humanity, The Roots of Romanticism, and Against the Current (all Princeton). Henry Hardy, a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, is one of Isaiah Berlin's literary trustees. He has edited several other volumes by Berlin, and is currently preparing Berlin's letters and remaining unpublished writings for publication.

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