Berlin & Popper on Liberty & Enlightenment (Part III – Berlin’s Response)

I’ve devoted two previous posts to Karl Popper’s comments on Isaiah Berlin’s 1958 inaugural lecture “Two Concepts of Liberty,” as laid out in his letter to Berlin of February 17, 1959. This post will focus on Berlin’s response in his letter to Popper of March 16, 1959.1

Berlin’s response lines up neatly with Popper’s comments: one paragraph addresses Popper’s reservations about Berlin’s account of “rationalism” (which I discussed in my initial post on this topic), while a second responds to Popper’s request for an explanation of Berlin’s claim that Horace’s dictum sapere aude has served as a justification for totalitarian forms of rule (a discussion of this section of Popper’s letter was the focus of my second post). What I would like to do here, then, is to wind up my discussion of the exchange by examining Berlin’s response to Popper’s two objections (a subsequent postscript will deal with a few textual alterations in the Two Concepts lecture).

Reservations About “Rationalism”

In his letter to Berlin, Popper dissented from the characterization of “rationalism” Berlin offered in at the close of Section V of the Two Concepts lecture. What Berlin offers there looms large in Berlin’s account of the central philosophical commitments on which he saw the Enlightenment as resting. Here is how Berlin summarized these principles:

first, that all men have one true purpose, and one only, that of rational self-direction; second, that the ends of all rational beings must of necessity fit into a single universal, harmonious pattern, which some men may be able to discern more clearly than others; third, that all conflict, and consequently all tragedy, is due solely to the clash of reason with the irrational or the insufficiently rational — immature and undeveloped elements in life – whether individual or communal, and that such clashes are, in principle, avoidable, and for wholly rational beings impossible; finally, that when all men have been made rational, they will obey the rational laws of their own natures, which are one and the same in them all, and so be at once wholly law-abiding and wholly free.

Popper’s objection to this description of rationalism was simple enough: he saw himself as a rationalist but vehemently rejected these principles. So, there was at least one rationalist in the world who did not believe what Berlin claimed rationalists believed.

Berlin’s discussion of “rationalism” continued,

Can it be that Hume is right and Socrates mistaken, that virtue is not knowledge, and freedom not identical with either? that despite the fact that it rules the lives of more men than ever before in its long history, not one of the basic assumptions of this famous view is demonstrable, or, perhaps, even true?

Popper had problems with this as well:

when you say “Can it be that Hume is right, and Socrates mistaken”. I am far from convinced that Socrates would have accepted your for basic assumptions, although I agree that Hume would have rejected them.But much as I admire Hume, he was the founder of irrationalism, together with Rousseau. I hasten to add that he was infinitely better than Rousseau, and surely not a romantic. But his irrationalism was that of a disappointed rationalist; and a disappointed rationalist is a man who expected too much from rationality.

How, then, did Berlin respond to these objections? He began by assuring Popper that, “of course,” he had no intention of associating him with such beliefs. But he resisted Popper’s effort to distance Socrates from the broader “rationalist” tradition and questioned whether Hume was, in fact, the outlier Popper took him to be. Indeed, what Berlin would seem to be suggesting is that Popper turns out to be the outlier: as Berlin sees it, Hume was hardly alone in his excessive expectations about what rationality might accomplish. Here is the continuation of the passage quoted above:

Of course I do not suppose that you could ever have subscribed to any of the propositions listed on p. 39: but I do think that the classical rationalists from Plato & Aristotle to Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz etc. could scarcely have denied them. What would Socrates have had against them? could he really have denied that all genuine questions had one true answer & one only, & that all rational men must, pro tanto, be capable of reaching perfect agreement on these answers? I think that Hume may have asked too much of rationality: but did Descartes or Aristotle ask less? I think they were genuinely mistaken about what being rational was: if my text implied that the alternative is rejection of reason in favour of some kind of Rousseau-ish état d’âme I have failed to convey my meaning.

It is possible that Berlin’s characterization of the thinkers he was criticizing as “classical rationalists” might have provided an opening for Popper to distinguish his “critical rationalism” from the line of (uncritical) rationalist running from “Plato & Aristotle to Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz etc.” But much hangs on the question of who is included in Berlin’s “etc.”

The Two Lectures had explicitly linked Kant to this tradition, an interpretation that — for reasons discussed in the first of these posts — Popper clearly rejected. Further, Popper had already, in effect, answered Berlin’s question as to what objections Socrates could have had to the principles shared by Berlin’s rationalists: his letter to Berlin implied that the “Socratic way of life” was equivalent to the critical stance that Popper associated with Kant. As a result, it is difficult to see how Popper could have taken much comfort in Berlin’s insistence that he had no intention of implying that Popper would have subscribed to the premisses on which “rationalism” rested while, nevertheless, continuing to hold that Socrates (and, in all likelihood, Kant) embraced them. Whatever grounds Berlin might have had for distinguishing “classical” from “critical” rationalism remain, at best, elusive.

The remainder of Berlin’s response to Popper’s first objection does little to address the disagreement between them on the nature of “rationalism.” But it does help to clarify some of the ambiguities in the position that Berlin was staking out.

I feel at least as hostile to Rousseau as you do: I realise his vast influence, but dislike his very prose – or bad poetry – so deeply, that I feel I cannot do justice even to the original psychological aperçus which it occasionally contains. The last thing that I want to do is to hold open the door for romanticism and blind faith — what socialists in the nineteenth century used to can “fidéisme”. But unless the pretensions of “rationalistic” reason are seen in correct perspective, will the disappointment in which they end not always tend to bring grist to the irrationalist mill? will the effort to be “scientific” where this does not fit – by Russell, or Marxists, or various kinds of positivists – not inevitably drive the victims & their sympathisers into the arms of sceptics, cynics, Hegelians and other Charlatans? I think that you believe me liable to discredit too much – in my zeal to refute metaphysical rationalism, to cast suspicion on reason as such. Perhaps this is just. It is always more difficult to be positive & defend the good than negative & attack wickedness.

Berlin might be seen as making three moves here:

  1. Having reiterated his disagreement with Popper on the issue as to whether Socrates (and, by implication, Kant) are part of the tradition of “rationalism” that leads to disastrous consequences, he shifts the focus to a cluster of thinkers whose positions he and Popper are at one in rejecting: Rousseau, Russell, Marx, Hegel and assorted unnamed “sceptics,” “cynics,” and “Charlatans.” The result of this move is that, while Berlin remains a critic of a certain form of “rationalism,” he is able to assure Popper that he has no sympathy for the “irrationalists.”
  2. In developing this point Berlin makes use of what Albert O. Hirschman dubbed the “jeopardy” argument: a rhetorical move that maintains that the pursuit of an otherwise laudable end will, when pushed too far, undermine whatever progress has been obtained through the pursuit of such ends.2 This move allow Berlin to imply that there might, after all, be grounds for an alliance with Popper: certain forms of rationalism, by raising (as Popper himself had argued) unrealistic expectations about the power of reason, run the risk of driving disillusioned rationalists into the camp of the very thinkers that Popper (like Berlin) finds so treacherous. What distinguishes Popper’s rationalism from the sort of rationalism that Berlin is criticizing is that Popper, unlike the “classical rationalists” has tempered his expectations about reason.
  3. Having now indicated that, despite their apparent disagreement about rationalism he and Popper are actually allies, Berlin is able to conclude his response by apologizing for an excess of zeal in fighting their common enemies. This might serve as an excuse for Berlin’s treatment of Socrates and Kant: it is evidence of his excessive, albeit well-intentioned, zeal.

A Brief Note on Berlin and Negative Liberty

This last move may have broader applicability for the argument of the Two Lectures. In its zeal to point out the dangers associated with “positive liberty” it is too easy to assume that Berlin was staking out a sort of libertarian position in the “Two Concepts,” a position that defines “freedom” more or less along the lines laid out in the Mercantus Center’s reckoning of “Freedom in the 50 States” — a reckoning in which we residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are seen as groaning under the yoke of oppression while our neighbors across the border in New Hampshire are happily pursuing the first of the two alternatives on their license plates. But, as John Holbo has recently noted in a nh2009comment on the Mecantus Index on Crooked Timber, the Index is engaged in precisely the sort of crude tallying up of negative liberties that Berlin himself had questioned in the long footnote from the “Two Concepts” that Holbo goes on to quote. In other words, Berlin’s critique of the excesses of “positive” liberty no more makes him an unapologetic defender of negative liberty, than his critique of the excesses of rationalism makes him an irrationalist. The same argument is sometimes made about his more general stance towards the Enlightenment: despite all his criticisms of the Enlightenment’s “monism” and despite his sympathetic readings of various “counter-enlighteners,” he was — at heart — a friend of the Enlightenment.3

“Of Course I Have Nothing Against Sapere Aude”

Popper’s second response to the Two Concepts lecture consisted of a counter-argument and a question. The counter-argument took the form an alternative conception of “positive liberty” that can be seen as cast in the terms of Kantian lines: adopt the maxim to think critically, i.e., “sapere aude.” Hence the simple question that he posed to Berlin: “what do you have against sapere aude?”

Berlin’s response was anything but simple. “Of course,” he began, “I have nothing against sapere cropped-minervahead3.jpgaude.” Of course, any sentence that begins with “of course” (including this one) is bound to invite suspicion and the fact that Berlin began both of his responses to Popper this way (“Of course I do not suppose that you could ever have subscribed to any of the propositions listed on p. 39”) suggests a certain defensiveness. Berlin goes on to lavish praises on Kant’s answer to the question “What is Enlightenment?”: “Kant’s essay on the notion of Enlightenment is moving and unforgettable.” But (of course?) the inevitable “but” arrives and we get back to business:

But in the days of Socrates sapere had not yet accumulated the association it acquired from being used as a weapon — the weapon — by every authoritarian and monopolistic doctrine that ever slaughtered people on its altars. By Kant’s time it was surely not enough to ask only for sapere — only for satisfaction of intellectual curiosity — or even knowledge in its widest sense. Kant himself has won immortal glory by stressing the very fact that a man might know & know & still be a villain. The whole of my lecture, in a sense, is an attempt at a brief study or prolegomenon to the study — of the way in which innocent or virtuous or truly liberating ideas (’know thyself’ or sapere aude or the man who is free although he is a slave, in prison etc.) tend (not inevitably!) to become authoritarian & despotic and lead to enslavement and slaughter when they are isolated & driven ahead by themselves.

Here, in a few complex sentences, we see Berlin’s stance towards the Enlightenment laid out in all its ambivalence. Admirers of Albert O. Hirschman have no doubt already noted that. once again, Berlin trots out the jeopardy trope: Horace’s advice turns out to be one of those ideas that, while “innocent or virtuous or truly liberating ideas” tends to produce disastrous results when “isolated & driven ahead by themselves.”

How exactly this is supposed to work could be summarized as follows:

  1. There is nothing inherently wrong with Horace’s maxim “sapere aude” (i.e., “satisfy your intellectual curiosity”): the dangers stem from the subsequent “accumulated association” that has been attached to the term.
  2. This subsequent “accumulated association” was acquired as a result of the concept’s having been used “as a weapon” in authoritarian politics.
  3. The use of the concept for such purposes is but one example of the way in which certain ideas “tend (not inevitably!)” to yield nasty results when they are “isolated & driven ahead by themselves.”

There is much to discuss here, but — in the interest of wrapping things up so that I can turn from the arduous task of unpacking Berlin’s sentences to the less demanding past-time of rolling around in nGram catnip — I’ll confine myself to a few points.

First, it is perhaps worth noting that Berlin raises no objections to the way in which Popper has decided to translate Horace’s (or is it Kant’s?) “sapere“: he accepts Popper’s suggestion that the term denotes “intellectual curiosity.” As I argued in my very first post on this blog, this is hard to reconcile with is hard to reconcile with either the literal translation of the Latin (what is needed here is “wisdom,” which has a somewhat broader reach than “intellectual curiosity)” or with the context in which Horace used the phrase (he is exhorting his friend not to delay moral reform). The reason for reiterating this seemingly pedantic point about the translation of sapere is that there are two different types of jeopardy arguments that Berlin could make and which one he deploys depends on how he chooses to read the maxim that Kant took over from Horace.

Using Popper’s definition would appear to support a jeopardy argument of the following sort: “intellectual curiosity,” pushed beyond a certain point, threatens to undermine previous achievements. But it difficult to see how the pursuit of more knowledge threatens the knowledge we have already obtained (e.g., more knowledge about subatomic particles may raise difficulties for particular theories, but we don’t see this as undermining scientific knowledge). On the other hand, it is not so difficult to see how relentless and unchecked attempts to satisfy our intellectual curiosity might threaten other values (for an argument of this sort, see Roger Shattuck’s book Forbidden Knowledge4). Had Berlin read sapere as referring to a something (i.e., “wisdom”) that is concerned not simply with the pursuit of “intellectual curiosity,” but also with other concerns (e.g., moral judgment, aesthetic sensibility, etc.) then he could have offered a jeopardy argument of a different sort. His rejoinder to Popper would be that, while there is nothing wrong, per se, in satisfying one’s “intellectual curiosity,” this pursuit (1) is only a part of what is involved in fulfilling Horace’s imperative and (2) it needs to be tempered by an awareness that neglecting these other concerns turns out to be “unwise.”

It is possible to catch a hint this line of argument when Berlin reminds Popper that Kant had been well aware of the danger of assuming that “intellectual curiosity” alone was enough to prevent the degeneration of “sapere” into manipulation (“Kant himself has won immortal glory by stressing the very fact that a man might know & know & still be a villain”). Pursuing this argument might have led Berlin to reflect on the role that Rousseau played in teaching Kant that knowledge and virtue did not always go hand in hand. As Kant explained,

I am myself by inclination a seeker after truth. I feel a consuming thirst for knowledge and restless passion to advance in it, as well as satisfaction in every forward step. There was a time when I thought that this alone could constitute the honor of mankind, and I despised the rabble who knows nothing. Rousseau set me right. This blind preference vanishes; I learn to respect men, and I should find myself far more useless than the common laborer if I did not believe that this view could give worth to all others to establish the rights of man.5

But, unfortunately, Rousseau has one, and only one, role to play in the argument that Berlin develops: he is the representative of the conception of (positive) liberty that allows compulsion to be presented as freedom.

One of the more peculiar features of the discussion of the phrase sapere aude in the Two Concepts is that Berlin’s concern lies not with the loss of the broader connotations that the phrase might once have had, but rather with the what it has gained over time: i.e., the “accumulated association” that it has taken on as a consequence of the uses to which it has been put. Much in this argument turns on what it means for a phrase to “accumulate” an “association.”

It is easy enough to come up with examples of previously “innocent” phrases that were subsequently tainted as a result of their use by political movements. For example, Walter Kaufmann once argued that when Nietzsche used the phrase “blond beast” he had lions in mind.6 With the rise of National Socialism and the repeated use of the phrase as a way of designating a certain racial ideal, Nietzsche’s phrase “accumulated” very different connotations: when we read it today we think of Nazi thugs, rather than lions.

While it is easy to see how such an argument might work for “blond beast,” it is a good deal harder to see how it can account for what allegedly happened with “sapere aude.” Berlin does not — and, indeed, could not — provide instances of the use of this phrase as “a weapon — the weapon” employed by authoritarians (e.g., Hitler may have talked about “blond beasts,” but he didn’t quote Horace). But this does not seem to be what Berlin had in mind when he spoke of an “accumulated association.” So let us try a different tack.

It is significant that Berlin’s reservations are not confined to Horace’s “sapere aude.” His letter to Popper offers Socrates’s “know thyself” as yet another example of one of those “innocent or virtuous or truly liberating ideas” that “tend (not inevitably!) to become authoritarian & despotic and lead to enslavement and slaughter when they are isolated & driven ahead by themselves.” He also mentions a third example: the idea that it is possible for a man to be “free although he is a slave.”

Readers of the “Two Concepts” (a group that, of course, includes Karl Popper) will recall that all three of these “innocent ideas” had played a role in Berlin’s argument: St. Ambrose’s statement that “A wise man, though he be a slave, is at liberty …” is quoted in Section III and “knowing oneself” is a prerequisite for the project of “self-realization” that Berlin takes up in Section IV, which also contains his first invocation of the phrase sapere aude. In saying that sapere aude have taken on an “accumulated association” Berlin is not making a claim about the history of a particular phrase, but is instead trying to capture something about the implications of the broader idea that Berlin sees this phrase, along with the phrases from Socrates and Ambrose, invoke: namely, the possibility of separating off a “rational self” that has the capacity for self-legislation and self-realization. Berlin’s concern, in other words, lies not with what has happened to a few “innocent phrases,” but rather with the trajectory of a few “innocent ideas,” all of which seem to be implicated in the creation of the potentially dangerous notion of “positive liberty.”

A Post Factum Prolegomenon

As I suggested in my initial post in this series, what Berlin needs to provide — if not here, then at some point — is a history that would trace how these “innocent” ideas were transformed into a “weapon” that was used to compel obedience. His letter to Popper would appear to concede the need for a history of this sort when it characterized the “Two Concepts” as “a brief study or prolegomenon” to such an account. But, as we now know, Berlin’s alleged “prolegomenon” was written after an extended, but incomplete, attempt at constructing such a history: his Flexner Lectures at Bryn Mawr College.

In these lectures the dangers that the “Two Concepts” lecture associates with Horace’s “sapere aude” had been associated with Rousseau’s insistence that compelling individuals to do what the general will dictates might, in fact, be seen not as compulsion but rather as liberation. This argument had been linked, at least in Berlin’s mind, with a commitment to those central principles of “classical rationalism” that Popper had seen as antithetical to his own understanding of “rationalism.” But just how all of this was supposed to fit together is not entirely clear — even to Berlin himself.

A letter from Berlin to Jacob Talmon dating from the December 30, 1952 helps clarify the problems Berlin faced in bringing the different threads of his argument together.7

Now I must sit down to the hideous task of writing a book. God knows, the awful shadow of Marx broods over the entire thing, and I do not know whether to put him in or keep him out, and I still feel terribly obscure and muddled about Rousseau. You and I think that he is the father of totalitarianism in a sense. Why do we think this? Because of the despotism of the general will What does he, in fact, say? He talks about (a) the necessity to keep out selfish and sectional interests, so that each man shall ask himself what is it right to do from the point of view of the community in general; this assumes that there is such a thing as a general interest or some courses of action which are better for entire societies than others, and this, although none too clear, obviously is in some sense valid; so far so good. One may raise questions about how one ever knows which course is best and then one may reasonably answer that Rousseau’s recommendations about eliminating selfish and sectional interests, as practical tips, have a certain value, at least in some situations, and that the difference between what is traditionally considered to be the right frame of mind for members of the English Parliament as against, say, American Senators, who quite openly represent territorial or economic interests, is a case in point. Again so far so good. Furthermore, everyone in the Assembly has the right to express his views as he pleases. Any suppression automatically breaks the social contract and destroys the general will, the Sovereign etc., so that liberty seems to be guaranteed. But once the decision has been reached the dissidence must form and this, I suppose, is the ordinary practice of all democratic assemblies, from Quaker meetings to Lenin’s Regional Central Committee and Politbureau.

Having reached this point in his elaboration of what Rousseau had said and, it would appear, having found it difficult to find much evidence to justify the picture of Rousseau as the “father of totalitarianism” (it is to Berlin’s credit that, though he finds Rousseau’s prose distasteful, his interpretation is rather charitable), he went on to ask,

What then do we complain of? Simply, (a) that Rousseau thinks that an absolutely objectively true answer can be reached about political questions; that there is a guaranteed method of doing so; that his method is the right one; and that to act against such a truth is to be wrong, at worst mad, and therefore properly to be ignored, and that all these propositions are false? (b) the mystique of the soi commun and the organic metaphor which runs away with him and leads to mythology, whether of the State, the Church, or whatever. Is this all? Or is there more to complain of? I don’t feel sure. The muddle is so great.

While both of these “complaints” will reappear in “Two Concepts,” it is not at all clear that Berlin actually needs both of them to explain why the “innocent” idea of autonomy became the weapon of choice for totalitarian regimes. The second complaint more than suffices: once the state is conceived as a collective subject, the idea of autonomy becomes a tool for domination. One of the advantages of such an explanation is that it eliminates the need to argue that every Enlightenment thinker was somehow committed to a rationalism of the sort that can be found in Leibniz and Wolff (or, alternatively, the need to restrict the corpus of “Enlightenment thinkers” to those who embrace these views and the reassignment of everyone else to something called the “counter-Enlightenment).

800px-Lammert_Karl_MarxThe explanation for why Berlin thinks he needs to insist that the Enlightenment was bound to a rationalism of this sort may have something to do with “the awful shadow” that Berlin found looming over the book that he would never write. In order to bring Marx into the picture, he was convinced that he needed to invoke his argument about “rationalism.” Indeed, as I noted in the first post in this discussion, the earliest appearance of Berlin’s 1939 study of Marx. Here’s what said there about the assumptions that Marx allegedly took over from the Enlightenment:

Reason is always right. To every question there is only one true answer which with sufficient assiduity can be infallibly discovered, and this applies no less to questions of ethics or politics, of personal and social life, than to the problems of physics or mathematics. Once found, the putting of the solution into practice is a matter of mere technical skill; but the traditional enemies of progress must first be removed, and men taught the importance of acting in all questions on the advice of disinterested scientific experts, whose knowledge is founded on reason and experience. Once this has been achieved, the path is clear to the millennium.8

It is difficult (at least for me) to read Marx as having thought that “every question” has “only one true answer”: there would seem to be any number of questions that Marx regarded as — at best — poorly posed (e.g., the value of commodities) or — at worst — utter nonsense (perhaps we could see “that’s nonsense” as counting as an answer to a question). It is even harder to see Rousseau signing onto this. However we understand the “general will,” it is clear that Rousseau does not see it as a single solution applicable to all political communities — different political communities have different common interests and, of course, the common interest of any individual community is not the same as the interest of all of its citizens: as Rousseau notes, were this not the case, politics would cease to be an art.

Final Solutions

In any case, Berlin seems to have had a deep and unshakeable conviction that much of the misery of the twentieth century can be traced to the belief that (to use the most concise of Berlin’s many different ways of putting it)

all genuine questions can be answered,that if a question cannot be answered it is not a question. … that all these answers are knowable … that all the answers must be compatible with one another … .9

The final section of the Two Concepts lecture (“The One and the Many”) opened with passage that leaned rather heavily on this point:

One belief, more than any other, is responsible for the slaughter of individuals on the altars of the great historical ideals — justice or progress or the happiness of future generations, or the sacred mission or emancipation of a nation or race or class, or even liberty itself, which demands the sacrifice of individuals for the freedom of society. This is the belief that somewhere, in the past, or in the future, in divine revelation, or in the minds of an individual thinker, in the pronouncements of history or science, or in the simple heart of an uncorrupted good man, there is a final solution.

The danger of spending looking too closely at passages like this is that it is all too easy (at least for me) to become unnecessarily concerned with rhetorical tricks like the positioning, at the very end of the second of these two sentences, of an “innocent term” that has now “accumulated” a truly monstrous “association.” Still, some resistance to what Berlin is doing here might be warranted.   The twentieth century was abundant enough in its slaughter that there is no need to be stingy in spreading the blame around: the rationale for the incineration of the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki appears to have rested on imperatives less lofty than the “great historical ideals” laid out in the opening sentence. There is little need for those of us who work in the area of intellectual history to try to corner the market on atrocities and no reason to think that big body counts are always the result of big ideas.

Popper may have had a better sense of where the problem lay.  In his letter to Berlin he suggested,

No doubt, the idea that anybody is wise, is dangerous and repugnant. But why should sapere aude be interpreted as authoritarian? It is, I feel, anti-authoritarian. When Socrates said, in the Apology, that the search for truth through critical discussion was a way of life (in fact, the best way of life he knew of) — was there anything objectionable in this?

He reiterated this point in his response to Berlin of March 21, 1959.

My main thesis can be summed up by saying: science has no authority; it can claim no authority. Those who claim authority for science, or in the name of science (the doctors, the engineers), misunderstand science. …All this is so important because without respect for science, for the search for truth, we cannot manage; and with too much respect (scientism) we cannot either ….10

To see problems as capable of solution is not the same thing as assuming that they will be solved, much less that they have now been solved. Nor does it mean, as Berlin sometimes seems to be saying, that we live in a world devoid of tragic collisions between opposing values. But adopting the stance that the world presents us with a myriad of problems does serve as a check on too early an exit from attempts to find solutions, achieve agreements, or find ways of living together. Not all disagreements are “tragic;” some of them are merely stupid and something stupidities are remediable.   There are times when enlightenment doesn’t  demand courage; sometimes it merely requires persistence.

  1. The relevant portions of the letter are available in the second volume of Berlin’s correspondence, Enlightening: 1946-1960, Edited by Henry Hardy and Jennifer Holmes with the assistance of Serena Moore (London: Chatto & Windus 2009) 680-682.
  2. Albert O. Hirschman, The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991) .
  3. For an example of this line of argument, see Roger Hausheer, “Enlightening the Enlightenment,” in Joseph Mali and Robert Wokler, Isaiah Berlin’s Counter-Enlightenment (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2003) 33-50. At some point it would be interesting to take a closer look at the assumptions that drive the “enlightening the Enlightenment” trope.
  4. Roger Shattuck, Forbidden Knowledge (New York : St. Martin’s Press ; 1996 ), I hope to say something about this book in a future post.
  5. Akademie XX:44 (I’ve used Manfred Kuehn’s translation from Kant: A Biography p. 131-2),
  6. Walter Kaufmann, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (Princeton: Princeton University Press , 1974) 225.
  7. Berlin, Enlightening: Letters II 354-355.
  8. Berlin, Karl Marx; His Life and Environment (London: T. Butterworth ltd, 1939). 44.
  9. Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism 21.
  10. I am obliged to the staff at the Hoover Institution Archives providing me with a copy of this letter, which resides in Box 276, Folder 10. I quote it here with the permission of the Karl Popper Library, Klagenfurt, Austria.

About James Schmidt

Professor of History, Philosophy, and Political Science Boston University
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One Response to Berlin & Popper on Liberty & Enlightenment (Part III – Berlin’s Response)

  1. Hatshof says:

    Gran trabajo .. Gracias

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