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Isaiah Berlin Facts

Sir Isaiah Berlin was a Latvia born British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas. Although he became increasingly averse to writing for publication, his improvised lectures and talks were sometimes recorded and transcribed, and many of his spoken words were converted into published essays and books, both by himself and by others. From 1957 to 1967 he was Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at the University of Oxford. He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1963 to 1964. Berlin was appointed a CBE in 1946, knighted in 1957. He was President of the British Academy from 1974 to 1978. He also received the 1979 Jerusalem Prize for his lifelong defence of civil liberties, and on 25 November 1994 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the University of Toronto. (1909-1997)

Quotes by Isaiah Berlin

By the end of the eighteenth century there gathered in Paris two dozen or so persons who started saying that all men were free and equal. Because of this in the whole of France people began to slaughter and drown each other. These people killed the king and a good many others.
Isaiah Berlin /Russian Thinkers/

If these ultimate human values by which we live are to be pursued, then compromises, trade-offs, arrangements have to be made if the worst is not to happen. So much liberty for so much equality, so much individual self-expression for so much security, so much justice for so much compassion.
Isaiah Berlin

The view that the truth is one and undivided, and the same for all men everywhere at all times, whether one finds it in the pronouncements of sacred books, traditional wisdom, the authority of churches, democratic majorities, observation and experiment conducted by qualified experts, or the convictions of simple folks uncorrupted by civilisation---this view, in one form or another, is central to western thought, which stems from Plato and his disciples.
Isaiah Berlin / The Crooked Timber of Humanity/

To understand is to perceive patterns.
Isaiah Berlin /Historical Inevitability/

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