Skip to main content Accesibility Help
×
×
Home
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

10 - Moral pluralism and liberal democracy: Isaiah Berlin's heterodox liberalism

Summary
When the definitive history of political theory in the twentieth century is written, Isaiah Berlin will take his place as one of the most distinguished representatives of the liberal tradition. In "Two Concepts of Liberty", he distinguished between negative and positive liberty, noncoercion and self-mastery, identifying the former with liberalism and the latter with political doctrines that evolved in antiliberal directions. Berlin's determination to understand cultures and their characteristic thinkers on their own terms has given rise to the suspicion that he was a relativist. He distinguished between pluralism, which he espoused, and relativism, which he repudiated. Similarly, although liberty and decency require an economic minimum, they do not dictate socialism or even social democracy. Turning from method to substance, Berlin's clarification of the differing dimensions of liberty and their practical consequences has often been criticized but never dismissed.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century
  • Online ISBN: 9781139028530
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139028530
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
×
Suggestions for further reading
Berlin, IsaiahFour Essays on LibertyLondonOxford University Press 1969
Freedom and Its Betrayal: Six Enemies of Human LibertyHardy, HenryPrincetonPrinceton University Press 2003
Crowder, GeorgeIsaiah Berlin: Liberty and PluralismCambridgePolity 2004
Lilla, MarkDworkin, RonaldSilvers, Robert BThe Legacy of Isaiah BerlinNew YorkNew York Review of Books 2001
Ignatieff, MichaelIsaiah BerlinNew YorkHenry Holt 1998
Lukes, StevenAn Unfashionable FoxThe Legacy of Isaiah BerlinLilla, MarkDworkin, RonaldSilvers, Robert B.New YorkNew York Review of Books 2001 54
Crowder, GeorgeIsaiah Berlin: Liberty and PluralismCambridgePolity 2004 192
Berlin, IsaiahTwo Concepts of LibertyFour Essays on LibertyLondonOxford University Press 1969
Berlin, IsaiahFreedom and Its Betrayal: Six Enemies of Human LibertyHardy, HenryPrincetonPrinceton University Press 2003 103
Berlin, IsaiahFrom Hope and Fear Set FreeThe Proper Study of MankindHardy, HenryHausheer, RogerNew YorkFarrar, Straus and Giroux 1998
Berlin, IsaiahThree Critics of the Enlightenment: Vico, Hamann, HerderHardy, HenryPrincetonPrinceton University Press 2000 186
Gray, JohnIsaiah BerlinPrincetonPrinceton University Press 1996
Crowder, Liberalism and Value PluralismLondonContinuum 2002
Galston, William A.Liberal PluralismNew YorkCambridge University Press 2002
The One and the Many: Reading Isaiah BerlinCrowder, GeorgeHardy, HenryAmherst, NYPrometheus Books 2007