Tag Archives: Isaiah Berlin

A Note on a Recently Published Letter from Isaiah Berlin on the “Counter-Enlightenment”

Having concluded a series of posts on the history of the concept of counter-Enlightenment, I’d planned to move on to other things. But, in the immortal words of Michael Corleone, “Just when I thought I was out … they pull … Continue reading

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Isaiah Berlin & the “Counter-Enlightenment”: A Reassessment (Fabricating the “Counter-Enlightenment” — Conclusion)

Since the middle of October I have been attempting to trace the history of the concept “counter-Enlightenment.” I set out on this venture convinced that Zeev Sternhell’s account of the history was wrong and confident that the sketch that I … Continue reading

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“Counter-Enlightenment” in English (1908-1942) (Fabricating the “Counter-Enlightenment” Part III)

The two previous posts in this series examined nineteenth and early twentieth-century German uses of the term “Gegenaufklärung” and argued, contra Zeev Sternell, that the term does not seem to have been generally adopted as a convention for referring to … Continue reading

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Fabricating the “Counter-Enlightenment” — Part 1: Nietzsche’s Role

When asked “Who invented the word ‘counter-Enlightenment?” Isaiah Berlin replied I don’t know who invented the concept …. Someone must have said it. Could it be myself? I should be somewhat surprised. Perhaps I did. I really have no idea.1 … Continue reading

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How Isaiah Berlin Revised the “Two Concepts” (A Concluding Philological Postscript)

Having finished my three posts on the exchange of letters between Karl Popper and Isaiah Berlin, I’m ready to reward myself by rolling around in the some of the nGram catnip that I’ve been accumulating. But there’s one bit of … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Why It Wouldn’t Have Mattered if Isaiah Berlin used nGrams

I’d been planning on posting the final part of my discussion of the exchange of letters between Isaiah Berlin and Karl Popper on liberty and enlightenment, but various commitments have conspired to delay my posting of that discussion until later … Continue reading

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