Frases de Isaiah Berlin

Isaiah Berlin Foto
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Isaiah Berlin

Fecha de nacimiento: 6. Junio 1909
Fecha de muerte: 5. Noviembre 1997
Otros nombres: Sir Isaiah Berlin

Isaiah Berlin OM , politólogo e historiador de las ideas; está considerado como uno de los principales pensadores liberales del siglo XX.

Obras

„Existe un gran abismo entre aquellos que, por un lado, relacionan todo con una única visión central, un sistema más o menos coherente o articulado, en términos de los que entienden, piensan y sienten, principios de organización únicos y universales - unos principios únicos, universales, organizadores en unos términos que únicamente tienen significado todo que dicen y son - y, por otro lado, aquellos que persiguen muchos fines, a menudo no relacionados e incluso contradictorios, conectados, sólo de una manera de hecho por alguna causa psicológica o fisiológica, no relacionada con ningún principio moral o estético. Esta última vida principal realiza actos y entretiene ideas que son centrífugas en lugar de centrípetas; su pensamiento se dispersa o se difunde, moviéndose a muchos niveles, aprovechando la esencia de una amplia variedad de experiencias y objetos para que estén en ellos mismos, sin que, conscientemente o inconscientemente, busquen integrarlos o excluirlos de cualquier inmutable, omnipresente, algunas veces autocontradictoria e incompleta al tiempo que fanática, visión interior militar. El primer tipo de personalidad intelectual y artística pertenece a los erizos, el segundo a los zorros.“

—  Isaiah Berlin, libro The Hedgehog and the Fox

The Hedgehog and the Fox (1953).
Original: «There exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision, one system, less or more coherent or articulate, in terms of they wich understand, think and feel - a single, universal, organising principles in terms of wich alone all that they are and say has significance - and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only in de facto way for some psichological o phisiological cause, related to no moral or aehstetic principle. This last lead lives, perform act and entertain ideas that are centrifugal rather than centripetal; their thought is scattered or difused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of expiriences and objects for their are in them-selves, without, consciously or unconsciously, seeking to fit them into, or exclude them from, any one unchanging, all-embracing, sometimes self contradictory and incomplete at the times fanatical, military inner vision. The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes.»
Fuente: Berlin, Isaiah. The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History. Second Edition. Editor Henry Hardy. Colaborador Michael Ignatieff. Editorial Princeton University Press, 2013. ISBN 9781400846634. p. 2.

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„Pocas nuevas verdades han ganado su camino en contra de la resistencia de las ideas establecidas, salvo por ser exageradas.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Original: «Few new truths have ever won their way against the resistance of established ideas save by being overstated.»
Fuente: Citado en McGrath, Alister E. Re-Imagining Nature: The Promise of a Christian Natural Theology. Editor John Wiley & Sons, 2016. ISBN 9781119046301. p. 181.

„Confundir nuestras propias construcciones e invenciones con leyes eternas o decretos divinos es uno de los más fatales delirios de los hombres.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Essays in Honour of E. H. Carr (1974).
Original: «To confuse our own constructions and inventions with eternal laws or divine decrees is one of the most fatal delusions of men.»
Fuente: Berlin, Isaiah. Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas. Second Edition. Editor Henry Hardy. Contribuidores Roger Hausheer, Mark Lilla. Editorial Princeton University Press, 2013. ISBN 9781400843237. p. 382.

„Los filósofos son adultos que persisten en hacer preguntas infantiles.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Original: «Philosophers are adults who persist in asking childish questions.»
Fuente: Citado en Baggini, Julian; Fosl, Peter S. The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods. 2ª Edición. Editorial John Wiley & Sons, 2011. ISBN 9781444357479.

„If I am prevented by others from doing what I could otherwise do, I am to that degree unfree; and if this area is contracted by other men beyond a certain minimum, I can be described as being coerced, or, it may be, enslaved.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Five Essays on Liberty (2002), Two Concepts of Liberty (1958)
Contexto: I am normally said to be free to the degree to which no man or body of men interferes with my activity. Political liberty in this sense is simply the area within which a man can act unobstructed by others. If I am prevented by others from doing what I could otherwise do, I am to that degree unfree; and if this area is contracted by other men beyond a certain minimum, I can be described as being coerced, or, it may be, enslaved. Coercion is not, however, a term that covers every form of inability. If I say that I am unable to jump more than ten feet in the air, or cannot read because I am blind, or cannot understand the darker pages of Hegel, it would be eccentric to say that I am to that degree enslaved or coerced. Coercion implies the deliberate interference of other human beings within the area in which I could otherwise act.

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„If, as I believe, the ends of men are many, and not all of them are in principle compatible with each other, then the possibility of conflict — and of tragedy — can never wholly be eliminated from human life, either personal or social.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Five Essays on Liberty (2002), Two Concepts of Liberty (1958)
Contexto: If, as I believe, the ends of men are many, and not all of them are in principle compatible with each other, then the possibility of conflict — and of tragedy — can never wholly be eliminated from human life, either personal or social. The necessity of choosing between absolute claims is then an inescapable characteristic of the human condition. This gives its value to freedom as Acton conceived of it — as an end in itself, and not as a temporary need, arising out of our confused notions and irrational and disordered lives, a predicament which a panacea could one day put right.

„Knowledge increases autonomy both in the sense of Kant, and in that of Spinoza and his followers.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Five Essays on Liberty (2002), From Hope and Fear Set Free (1964)
Contexto: Knowledge increases autonomy both in the sense of Kant, and in that of Spinoza and his followers. I should like to ask once more: is all liberty just that? The advance of knowledge stops men from wasting their resources upon delusive projects. It has stopped us from burning witches or flogging lunatics or predicting the future by listening to oracles or looking at the entrails of animals or the flight of birds. It may yet render many institutions and decisions of the present – legal, political, moral, social – obsolete, by showing them to be as cruel and stupid and incompatible with the pursuit of justice or reason or happiness or truth as we now think the burning of widows or eating the flesh of an enemy to acquire skills. If our powers of prediction, and so our knowledge of the future, become much greater, then, even if they are never complete, this may radically alter our view of what constitutes a person, an act, a choice; and eo ipso our language and our picture of the world. This may make our conduct more rational, perhaps more tolerant, charitable, civilised, it may improve it in many ways, but will it increase the area of free choice? For individuals or groups?

„Everyone knows what made Berkeley notorious. He said that there were no material objects.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Berkeley’s External World (1947)
Contexto: Everyone knows what made Berkeley notorious. He said that there were no material objects. He said the external world was in some sense immaterial, that nothing existed save ideas — ideas and their authors. His contemporaries thought him very ingenious and a little mad.

„Single-minded monists, ruthless fanatics, men possessed by an all-embracing coherent vision do not know the doubts and agonies of those who cannot wholly blind themselves to reality.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Five Essays on Liberty (2002), Introduction (1969)
Contexto: Those, no doubt, are in some way fortunate who have brought themselves, or have been brought by others, to obey some ultimate principle before the bar of which all problems can be brought. Single-minded monists, ruthless fanatics, men possessed by an all-embracing coherent vision do not know the doubts and agonies of those who cannot wholly blind themselves to reality.

„This gives its value to freedom as Acton conceived of it — as an end in itself, and not as a temporary need, arising out of our confused notions and irrational and disordered lives, a predicament which a panacea could one day put right.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Five Essays on Liberty (2002), Two Concepts of Liberty (1958)
Contexto: If, as I believe, the ends of men are many, and not all of them are in principle compatible with each other, then the possibility of conflict — and of tragedy — can never wholly be eliminated from human life, either personal or social. The necessity of choosing between absolute claims is then an inescapable characteristic of the human condition. This gives its value to freedom as Acton conceived of it — as an end in itself, and not as a temporary need, arising out of our confused notions and irrational and disordered lives, a predicament which a panacea could one day put right.

„If our powers of prediction, and so our knowledge of the future, become much greater, then, even if they are never complete, this may radically alter our view of what constitutes a person, an act, a choice; and eo ipso our language and our picture of the world.“

—  Isaiah Berlin

Five Essays on Liberty (2002), From Hope and Fear Set Free (1964)
Contexto: Knowledge increases autonomy both in the sense of Kant, and in that of Spinoza and his followers. I should like to ask once more: is all liberty just that? The advance of knowledge stops men from wasting their resources upon delusive projects. It has stopped us from burning witches or flogging lunatics or predicting the future by listening to oracles or looking at the entrails of animals or the flight of birds. It may yet render many institutions and decisions of the present – legal, political, moral, social – obsolete, by showing them to be as cruel and stupid and incompatible with the pursuit of justice or reason or happiness or truth as we now think the burning of widows or eating the flesh of an enemy to acquire skills. If our powers of prediction, and so our knowledge of the future, become much greater, then, even if they are never complete, this may radically alter our view of what constitutes a person, an act, a choice; and eo ipso our language and our picture of the world. This may make our conduct more rational, perhaps more tolerant, charitable, civilised, it may improve it in many ways, but will it increase the area of free choice? For individuals or groups?

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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