Frases de Isaiah Berlin

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Isaiah Berlin

Data de nascimento: 6. Junho 1909
Data de falecimento: 5. Novembro 1997
Outros nomes:Sir Isaiah Berlin

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Sir Isaiah BerlinOM, CBE, FBA foi um filósofo político britânico de origem judaica russa.

É considerado como um dos principais pensadores liberais do século XX.

Isaiah Berlin nasceu em uma abastada família judia, em Riga, então Império Russo , no período compreendido entre a Revolução de 1905 e a Revolução de 1917. Era filho de Mendel Berlin, um industrial madeireiro e descendente direto de Shneur Zalman , e de sua mulher, Marie, nascida Volshonok.

Passou sua infância em Riga. Depois viveu em Andreapol, uma pequena cidade madeireira, perto de Pskov, que praticamente pertencia à empresa de sua família, e em Petrogrado . A família emigrou para o Reino Unido quando ele tinha 10 anos.

Estudou na Universidade de Oxford, onde iniciou sua carreira acadêmica como filósofo, lecionando teoria social e política. Destacou-se como historiador das ideias.

Teve publicados, dentre outros livros,Karl Marx: His Life and Environment , Four Essays on Liberty, Against the Current , Vico e Herder, O sentido de realidade, Pensadores russos e Limites da utopia: capítulos da história das ideias.

Seus ensaios mais conhecidos são The Hedgehog and the Fox e Two Concepts of Liberty, em que examina a distinção entre duas interpretações do termo liberdade:

liberdade negativa, ou ausência de impedimentos à ação do indivíduo;

liberdade positiva, ou presença de condições para que os indivíduos ajam de modo a atingir seus objetivos.

Outro tema fundamental de seu pensamento, intimamente ligado à questão da liberdade negativa e positiva, é a defesa do pluralismo axiológico. Segundo Berlin, os valores produzidos pelos homens não são conciliáveis numa única hierarquia, a tentativa de estabelecer um absoluto implica conflitos e tiranias. A razão não pode definir uma ordem de importância dos valores, ou mensurar os valores, de modo universal, portanto o pluralismo é uma necessidade. Se, por exemplo, o principio da liberdade for levado a extremos, comprometerá o principio da igualdade, e se o principio da igualdade for implantado de modo absoluto, implicará no fim da liberdade. O pluralismo é, assim, um princípio da democracia que permite a coexistência pacífica de distintos interesses, convicções e conceções do bem comum. Pluralismo e liberdade, nos termos de Berlin, constituem a expressão filosófica da sociedade liberal. Essa problemática tem despertado o interesse de muitos autores que buscam enfrentar o desafio proposto e compatibilizar valores numa escala comum.

Citações Isaiah Berlin

„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.

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„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?

„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.

„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 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?

„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.

„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.

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