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Three Critics of the Enlightenment: Vico, Hamann, Herder

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Isaiah Berlin was deeply admired during his life, but his full contribution was perhaps underestimated because of his preference for the long essay form. The efforts of Henry Hardy to edit Berlin's work and reintroduce it to a broad, eager readership have gone far to remedy this. Now, Princeton is pleased to return to print, under one cover, Berlin's essays on Vico, Hamann ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Princeton University Press (first published February 3rd 2000)
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Sep 02, 2009 Tyler rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone Interested in the History of Ideas
Recommended to Tyler by: Gabriel
Shelves: philosophy
The benefits to modern thinking with which the Enlightenment has endowed later centuries are now so obvious that it seems almost impertinent to criticize that period of human development. Yet that is just what three contemporaries of the Enlightenment did at the time. Isaiah Berlin has brought their criticisms to light for modern readers in three remarkably researched long essays.

The gist of the Enlightenment centers around what the good for human beings amounts to. The direction the epoch had t
Peter Mcloughlin
The enlightenment project of universal values and Kant's kingdom of ends of course developed as all movements do it opposition and critics. Berlin who is a fan of modern enlightenment liberalism and having early life marred by its enemies has a fascination with the history of the opponents of the enlightenment and antiliberal thinkers. This book looks at some critics of the enlightenment Vico, Herder and Hamman, Vico is an italian jurist who propounded the idea of historical development of value ...more
A word of warning must be sounded about Isaiah Berlin's books. I like this one when I first read it, as well as "Crooked Timber of Humanity", but since getting into the authors he talks about more deeply I've found that the way that he often characterizes them is at variance with how they're looked at by scholars in their own countries and in their own languages, with at times an almost willful distortion of the actual ideas that the people espoused. Two general examples of this are his treatmen ...more
Marcus Lira
There are good books. There are great books. And there are books I’d devour with cheese and chips if it meant having their content stored in my body fat, just so I could keep having flashbacks whenever I burned this intellectual cholesterol inside me. How happy would I be if I could run behind the bus in a hopeless effort to catch it and suddenly my memory suddenly retrieved something – anything, really – about Hamann’s philosophy of language? I’d probably just stop there and seize my very own m ...more
Lauren Albert
Some books require undivided attention and I wasn't fully able to give it in this case. I certainly found it interesting--I hadn't known much, if anything, about Vico, Hamann or Herder before I read it. Now that I've read it, I'd like to go back to the introduction to see if I can step back and get a better perspective. But his focus in these essays, as often elsewhere, is on counter-Enlightenment thinkers and to "recover" neglected writers of the group and to give them credit for their ideas wh ...more
He called it the counter-enlightenment. I've been trying to get someone to translate Hamann into english ever since I read this book. It's been over two hundred years and still no one's up to the task. Where's the sense of adventure in our young german translators?
Ik ben aan mijn "read"-lijst de meest interessante boeken aan het toevoegen die ik voor mijn thesis heb (moeten) (ge)lezen. No shame. I read the goddamn books.
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Sir Isaiah Berlin was a philosopher and historian of ideas, regarded as one of the leading liberal thinkers of the twentieth century. He excelled as an essayist, lecturer and conversationalist; and as a brilliant speaker who delivered, rapidly and spontaneously, richly allusive and coherently structured material, whether for a lecture series at Oxford University or as a broadcaster on the BBC Thir ...more
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