Isaiah Berlin cytaty

Isaiah Berlin Fotografia
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Isaiah Berlin

Data urodzenia: 6. Czerwiec 1909
Data zgonu: 5. Listopad 1997
Natępne imiona:Sir Isaiah Berlin

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Sir Isaiah Berlin – brytyjski historyk idei i filozof, pochodzący z rodziny rosyjskich Żydów; zwolennik liberalizmu, autor eseju pt. Dwie koncepcje wolności , przez niektórych uważanego za najbardziej wpływowy szkic z zakresu współczesnej filozofii politycznej.

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Cytaty Isaiah Berlin

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„Marks przygotował atak na społeczeństwo burżuazyjne w chwili, w której osiągnęło ono szczytowy punkt swego rozkwitu materialnego. W tym samym roku Gladstone w mowie budżetowej pogratulował swym rodakom ich „zaraźliwego pomnażania bogactwa i potęgi”, którego świadkiem były poprzednie lata, upływające w nastroju rosnącego optymizmu i powszechnego zaufania. W tym świecie Marks jest postacią odizolowaną, zgorzkniałym wrogiem, gotowym na wzór wczesnych chrześcijan czy francuskich enragè (wściekłych) odrzucić wszystko, czym ten świat jest i do czego dąży, nazywając jego ideały bezwartościowymi, a jego cnoty grzechami, potępiając jego instytucje tylko za to, że są burżuazyjne, a więc należą do skorumpowanego, tyrańskiego i irracjonalnego społeczeństwa, które musi być unicestwione raz na zawsze. W epoce, która niszczyła swoich wrogów środkami potężnymi, choć działającymi wolno i dyskretnie, zmuszając Carlyle'a i Schopenhauera do ucieczki w odległe cywilizacje lub idealizowaną przeszłość, doprowadzając swego arcywroga Nietzschego do histerii i szaleństwa, Marks pozostał odporny i niezmiennie groźny. Jak starożytny prorok, dopełniający dzieła wyznaczonego mu przez niebiosa, z wewnętrznym spokojem opartym na jasnej i niewzruszonej wierze w harmonijne społeczeństwo przyszłości, objawiał wszystkim znaki rozkładu i ruiny, które widział na każdym kroku. Zdawało mu się, że stary ład wali się powoli przed jego oczami. Zdziałał więcej, niż ktokolwiek dla przyśpieszenia tego procesu, chcąc skrócić finalną agonię poprzedzającą koniec.“

— Isaiah Berlin
Źródło: Karol Marks. Jego życie i środowisko

„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
Context: 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.

„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
Context: 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.

„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
Context: 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
Context: 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.

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

— Isaiah Berlin
Context: 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.

„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
Context: 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?

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

— Isaiah Berlin
Context: 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?

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