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 ...

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Concepts and Categories: Philosophical Essays

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NOOK Book (eBook - 2nd edition, New Foreword)
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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.

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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
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400848102
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/10/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: 2nd edition, New Foreword
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • File size: 2 MB

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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Table of Contents

Foreword by Alasdair MacIntyre xi
Editor's Preface xix
Author's Preface xxv
Introduction by Bernard Williams xxix
The Purpose of Philosophy 1
Verification 15
Empirical Propositions and Hypothetical Statements 41
Logical Translation 72
Equality 106
The Concept of Scientific History 135
Does Political Theory Still Exist? 187
From Hope and Fear Set Free 226
Appendix to the Second Edition
Made of Wax after All 261
My Philosophical Views 277
Interview on Concepts and Categories 284
Logical Positivism 305
The Rationality of Value Judgements 315
Is a Philosophy of History Possible? 318
Pluralism and Liberalism (with Bernard Williams) 325
The Philosophy of Charles Taylor 331
Index 335
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