dunnettreader + berlin_isaiah   13

Carmen E. Pavel, review - Sharon R. Krause, Freedom Beyond Sovereignty: Reconstructing Liberal Individualism (U of Chicago 2015) | Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews - Sept 2015
King's College London -- What unites these experiences of frustrated freedom? It is certainly not the fact that the protagonists in these examples lack the capacity for rational, intentional control over their actions or face legal impediments to their choices. Krause thus parts ways with a long tradition in western political thought dating back to Locke, Kant and Mill, which locates individual freedom in the rational will and the capacity to exercise intentional choice and control. In fact, the originality of Krause's account is showing how freedom can be undermined despite a generally friendly background of political rights and privileges that guarantee the space for intentional choice. Something subtler is going on, which is why certain dimensions of freedom have been absent from standard accounts of what it means to be free. The quality of our everyday interpersonal exchanges matters quite a lot for individual freedom because these interactions are constitutive of personal agency. Krause argues that a proper understanding of agency is inextricably tied to freedom. Following Bernard Williams, she deploys a two-dimensional conception of agency: agency consists both in deliberation and results. To be an agent is both to plan one's actions and to have a recognizable impact on the world. Agency is thus "the affirmation of one's subjective existence, or personal identity, through concrete action in the world." The efficacy dimension of agency distinguishes it from "mere willing or dreaming." (4) Crucially, however, we are not in complete control of how our actions affect the world. Their effect depends, in significant part, on how others perceive and respond to them.
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september 2015 by dunnettreader
Roundtable - Romanticism, Enlightenment, and Counter-Enlightenment | Philoctetes Center - April 17, 2010
, 2:30 PM
Romanticism, Enlightenment, and Counter-Enlightenment

Participants: Akeel Bilgrami, Taylor Carman, Garrett Deckel, Colin Jager, Joel Whitebook Isaiah Berlin introduced the work of a range of philosophers in the German romantic and German idealist tradition to the English-speaking world. His fascination with some of their ideas was accompanied by a concomitant anxiety about them. The anxiety issued from his staunch liberal commitment to the orthodox Enlightenment. Yet, the fascination was an implicit acknowledgement on his part of some of the limitations of the Enlightenment's liberal ideas. This roundtable will look at this underlying tension in Berlin, which many liberals feel to this day. Panelists will probe the role of reason, perception, and emotion in our individual and political psychology, and ask the question of whether or not there is something for liberalism to learn from what Berlin—rightly or wrongly—called the "Counter-Enlightenment." -- see YouTube bookmark for direct link -- video also embedded in program page
video  intellectual_history  18thC  19thC  Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  Romanticism  Enlightenment_Project  Enlightenment-ongoing  German_Idealism  liberalism  Berlin_Isaiah  reason  rationality  perception  emotions  reason-passions  political_philosophy  political_culture  social_psychology  moral_psychology  nature  nature-mastery  cognition  prejudice  cognitive_bias  mind  mind-body  philosophical_anthropology 
august 2015 by dunnettreader
JONATHAN ALLEN GREEN -- FRIEDRICH GENTZ'S TRANSLATION OF BURKE'S "REFLECTIONS" (2014). | The Historical Journal, 57, pp 639-659. - Cambridge Journals Online - Abstract
JONATHAN ALLEN GREEN - Trinity Hall, Cambridge -- In his influential work on German Romanticism, Isaiah Berlin suggested that Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) catalysed the growth of the nineteenth-century counter-Enlightenment. This causal thesis, however, ignored the extent to which the Reflections' German translator, Friedrich Gentz (1764–1832), altered the meaning of the text to suit his own philosophical agenda. Although Burke saw rationalism and revolution as natural allies, Gentz – a student of Immanuel Kant – used the Reflections to articulate a conservative form of rationalism that, he believed, could stand up to the philosophes' radicalism. Through his selective translation, numerous in-text annotations, and six long interpretive essays, Gentz pressed Burke's Reflections into a Kantian epistemological paradigm – carving out a space for a priori right in the logic of the text, and demoting traditional knowledge from a normative to a prudential role. In Gentz's translation, Burke thus appeared as a champion, not a critic, of Enlightenment. -- * Many thanks to John Robertson, Joachim Whaley, and William O'Reilly for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article.
article  paywall  intellectual_history  political_philosophy  Counter-Enlightenment  18thC  Burke  French_Revolution  translation  Germany  German_Idealism  Kant  rationalist  Enlightenment  Enlightenment-conservative  philosophes  French_Enlightenment  Berlin_Isaiah  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Jeremy Waldron - Political Political Theory: An Oxford Inaugural Lecture (2012) :: SSRN
NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 12-26 -- "Inaugural Lecture" for the Chichele Professorship of Social and Political Theory. -- Political theorists study (1) political virtue, (2) political processes and institutions, and (3) political ideals (like justice, liberty, and equality). Since the time of Hume, Madison, and Kant, it has been thought that (2) is more important than (1), because maybe we can set up institutions that work for the general good whatever the state of virtue of the people... But in the revival of political philosophy heralded by Rawls in 1971, there has been great emphasis on (3) and not nearly enough on (2)... particularly in the UK. Chichele chair -holders G.A. Cohen and Isaiah Berlin focused almost exclusively on (3) -- with Berlin announcing that political philosophy was really just the study of "the ends of life." -- I argue for a reorientation of political theory teaching and scholarship back towards institutions -- particularly the normative evaluation of the political process and the exploration of institutional principles like democracy, representation, bicameralism, the rule of law, the separation of powers, federalism and so on. ..these issues should not be left to empirical or comparative politcial science, because they raise important and complex questions of evaluation that may be sold short by the pragmatic and consequentialist emphasis of empirical and comparative work. But political theory should respect the empirical study of institutions more than it does, and it should dovetail the normative and evaluative work that political theory involves with the understanding of institutions, processes, and practices that political science generates. -- downloaded pdf to Note
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july 2014 by dunnettreader
Jeremy Waldron - Isaiah Berlin's Neglect of Enlightenment Constitutionalism (2014) :: SSRN
NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 14-12 -- One of the most important achievements of the Enlightenment is what I shall call Enlightenment constitutionalism. It transformed our political thinking out of all recognition; it left, as its legacy, not just the repudiation of monarchy and nobility in France in the 1790s but the unprecedented achievement of the framing, ratification, and establishment of the Constitution of the United States. It comprised the work of Diderot, Kant, Locke, Madison, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Sieyes, and Voltaire. It established the idea of a constitution as an intricate mechanism designed to house the untidiness and pluralism of human politics. Yet Isaiah Berlin, supposedly one of our greatest interpreters of the Enlightenment, said almost nothing about it. The paper develops this claim and it speculates as to why this might be so. Certainly one result of Berlin's sidelining of Enlightenment constitutionalism is to lend spurious credibility to his well-known claim that Enlightenment social design was perfectionist, monastic, and potentially totalitarian. By ignoring Enlightenment constitutionalism, Berlin implicitly directed us away from precisely the body of work that might have refuted this view of Enlightenment social design. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  intellectual_history  18thC  political_philosophy  political_culture  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  British_history  British_politics  English_constitution  French_Enlightenment  American_colonies  American_Revolution  French_Revolution  Enlightenment_Project  Berlin_Isaiah  rationalist  perfectibility  progress  Montesquieu  Founders  Madison  US_constitution  bill_of_rights  Glorious_Revolution  constitutionalism  government-forms  Sieyes  separation-of-powers  checks-and-balances  Absolutism  institutions  institutional_change  representative_institutions  tyranny  limited_monarchy  limited_government  rule_of_law  Diderot  Voltaire  Locke-2_Treatises  Kant  historical_sociology  social_sciences  social_process  pluralism  conflict  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Edmund Fawcett: Liberalism: The Life of an Idea | Princeton University Press
Using a broad idea of liberalism, the book discusses celebrated thinkers from Constant and Mill to Berlin, Hayek, and Rawls, as well as more neglected figures. Its twentieth-century politicians include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Willy Brandt, but also Hoover, Reagan, and Kohl. The story tracks political liberalism from its beginnings in the 1830s to its long, grudging compromise with democracy, through a golden age after 1945 to the present mood of challenge and doubt. Focusing on the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, the book traces how the distinct traditions of these countries converged on the practice of liberal democracy. Although liberalism has many currents, Fawcett suggests that they are held together by shared commitments: resistance to power, faith in social progress, respect for people's chosen enterprises and beliefs, and acceptance that interests and faiths will always conflict. Edmund Fawcett worked at The Economist for more than three decades, serving as chief correspondent in Washington, Paris, and Berlin, as well as European and literary editor. - Introduction downloaded pdf to Note
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may 2014 by dunnettreader
Corey W. Dyck, review - Avi Lifschitz, Language and Enlightenment: The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // Dec 2013
For its competition of 1771, the Berlin Academy of Sciences asked: "Supposing men abandoned to their natural faculties, are they in a position to invent language? And by what means will they arrive at this invention?" The winning essay was Herder's "On the Origin of Language." This was actually the Academy's 2nd on language. In 1759 they asked: "What is the reciprocal influence of the opinions of people on language, and of language on opinions?" The winner was the orientalist Johann David Michaelis. Lifschitz's lucid and engaging book is about the 1759 contest, as he considers the historical, philosophical, and political circumstances that led to its proposal and the broader scholarly views of Michaelis. -- While one might quibble with Lifschitz's attempt to find deep roots in the Leibnizian-Wolffian philosophy for the 1759 Academy question, there is no doubting that in Berlin of the 1750s a number of thinkers took an active interest in language, its role in framing social institutions, and its relation to the mind, primarily under the influence of the work of Condillac and Rousseau. These include the president of the Academy, Maupertuis, and Moses Mendelssohn There was also lively discussion among Academy members regarding the (synchronic) connection between language and opinions, esp French as the language of the Academy. -- Already in the 1750s ...mainstream Enlightenment figures recognized the "linguistic rootedness of all human forms of life" and the importance of language as a "tool of cognition". Lifschitz rightly contends [this counters the story that such a view ], with its focus on the historical and non-rational aspects of human nature, [came from counter-Enlightenment figures] such as Herder and Hamann. [This directly] challenge[s] the characterization ... in Isaiah Berlin's seminal studies [as well as more recent studies] such as Michael Forster's work on Herder's philosophy of language. ...Herder's claim, as characterized by Forster, that "thought is essentially dependent upon and bounded by language" and that "one cannot think unless one has a language and one can only think what one can express linguistically" must be taken in the broader context of these earlier philosophical (and political) debates.
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march 2014 by dunnettreader
Horacio Spector - Four Conceptions of Freedom | JSTOR: Political Theory, Vol. 38, No. 6 (December 2010), pp. 780-808
Contemporary political philosophers discuss the idea of freedom in terms of two distinctions: Berlin's famous distinction between negative and positive liberty, and Skinner and Pettit's divide between liberal and republican liberty. In this essay I proceed to recast the debate by showing that there are two strands in liberalism, Hobbesian and Lockean, and that the latter inherited its conception of civil liberty from republican thought. I also argue that the contemporary debate on freedom lacks a perspicuous account of the various conceptions of freedom, mainly because it leaves aside the classic contrast between natural liberty and civil liberty. Once we consider both the negative/positive distinction and the natural/civil one, we can classify all conceptions of freedom within four basic irreducible categories. In light of the resulting framework I show that there are two distinct conceptions of republican liberty, natural and civil, and that the former is coupled with an ideal of individual self-control. -- downloaded pdf to Note
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february 2014 by dunnettreader
Ella Myers - From Pluralism to Liberalism: Rereading Isaiah Berlin | JSTOR: The Review of Politics, Vol. 72, No. 4 (FALL 2010), pp. 599-625
The relationship between pluralism and liberalism has been at the center of recent considerations of Isaiah Berlin's thought. In particular, liberal theorists have asked whether the value pluralism Berlin endorses actually undermines his liberalism. A common interpretive approach resolves this problem by presenting Berlin's pluralism as "limited" rather than "radical," and therefore capable of serving as a moral foundation authorizing liberalism. I challenge this re-construction of Berlin's work, arguing that such readings are premised on a conception of judgment Berlin does not share. While many of his readers believe that a judgment on behalf of liberalism requires the identification of a transcontextual ground, Berlin invites us to see human judgment as a meaningful practice that occurs in the absence of absolutes yet does not simply mirror local norms. Berlin's defense of liberalism models this kind of judgment—a judgment that is neither mandated, nor ruled out, by pluralism. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  political_philosophy  moral_philosophy  morality-conventional  morality-objective  liberalism  pluralism  relativism  Berlin_Isaiah  anti-foundationalism  practical_knowledge  phronesis  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader

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