Isaiah Berlin

A Kantian and Post-Idealist Thinker

Author(s) Robert A. Kocis

Language: English

Genre(s): Philosophy

Series: Political Philosophy Now

  • August 2022 · 264 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786838957
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786838964
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786838971

About The Book

Reacting against both the British Idealists and the logical positivists, Isaiah Berlin forged a new philosophy best described as post-Idealist. This philosophy was deeply informed by Kantian categories and methods, and conditioned by Vichian themes of historical and cultural variation. An advocate of pluralism without relativism, Berlin believed that it was possible to adopt and live by values, but he could not achieve moral certainty that our values are objectively preferable to all others. Like Collingwood and Oakeshott (and some neo-Kantians), Berlin believed that concepts matter and that they have a history; that human values are numerous and incommensurable; that rationalism in politics is dangerous; and that positivists’ hopes for rigorous social sciences are unrealistic. Interestingly, Collingwood and Oakeshott, both also candidates for post-Idealism, shared Berlin’s commitment to these themes. Ultimately, Berlin’s ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’ is perhaps best perceived as a critique of Bradley’s Ethical Studies.


Chapter 1: The British Idealists
Chapter 2: Collingwood & Oakeshott: Post-Idealists?
Chapter 3: Concepts Matter: ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’ and F. H. Bradley
Chapter 4: Berlin and the History of Concepts
Chapter 5: Berlin and Cultural Pluralism1
Chapter 6: Berlin vs. Rationalism
Chapter 7: Berlin’s Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Chapter 8: Critical Appraisals

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Robert A. Kocis

Robert A. Kocis is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Scranton. He is the author of A Critical Appraisal of Sir Isaiah Berlin's Political Philosophy.

Read more