The proper study of mankind: an anthology of essays

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Chatto & Windus, 1997 - Philosophy - 667 pages
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Review: The Proper Study of Mankind

User Review  - Marc - Goodreads

I didn't know Isaiah Berlin at all until the mid' 1990's, when I took a subscription on the New York Review of Books. Berlin regularly published articles in it. I was immediately very impressed by his ... Read full review

Review: The Proper Study of Mankind

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

Sometimes I think of big thick books about history and philosophy as intellectual arm wrestling matches-- I'm throwing my weight against ideas, trying to figure out the author's strategy. When I read ... Read full review


The Pursuit of the Ideal
Philosophical Foundations
Freedom and Determinism

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About the author (1997)

Philosopher, political theorist, and essayist, Isaiah Berlin was born in 1909 to Russian-speaking Jewish parents in Latvia. Reared in Latvia and later in Russia, Berlin developed a strong Russian-Jewish identity, having witnessed both the Social-Democratic and the Bolshevik Revolutions. At the age of 12, Berlin moved with his family to England, where he attended prep school and then St. Paul's. In 1928, he went up as a scholar to Corpus Christi College in Oxford. After an unsuccessful attempt at the Manchester Guardian, Berlin was offered a position as lecturer in philosophy at New College. Almost immediately, he was elected to a fellowship at All Souls. During this time at All Souls, Berlin wrote his brilliant biographical study of Marx, titled Karl Marx: His Life and Environment (1939), for the Home University Library. Berlin continued to teach through early World War II, and was then sent to New York by the Ministry of Information, and subsequently to the Foreign Office in Washington, D.C. It was during these years that he drafted several fine works regarding the changing political mood of the United States, collected in Washington Despatches 1941-1945 (1981). By the end of the war, Berlin had shifted his focus from philosophy to the history of ideas, and in 1950 he returned to All Souls. In 1957, he was elected to the Chichele Chair of Social and Political Theory, delivering his influential and best-known inaugural lecture, Two Concepts of Liberty. Berlin died in Oxford on November 5, 1997.

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