Isaiah Berlin: A Celebration gathers tributes, reflections, and commentaries on the great thinker and his philosophy, politics, and life-including contributions from Michael Ignatieff, Leon Wieseltier, Ronald Dworkin, Stephen Spender, and many others. "Some [essays], like Joseph Brodsky's tribute, are touchingly personal. Others, like G. A. Cohen's 'Isaiah's Marx, and Mine,' mingle personal reminiscences with a more theoretical look at Berlin's ideas. . . . The volume is a fitting tribute to a thinker famed for his erudition, eclecticism, and (...) clarity of style."--Merle Rubin, The Christian Science Monitor "One of the many merits of this rich and rewarding collection is the sense-very imperfectly conveyed here-it transmits of the tone of Berlin's writings and conversation, of the multiplicity of his interests and the variety of his achievements. . . . The essays testify to the character of Berlin's mind as a luminous prism, in which the cultural traditions of Russia, England and Judaism are marvelously refracted."--John Gray, Times Literary Supplement "[T]he collection testifies to the learning and profundity of Berlin's thought and, by way both of reminiscence and influence, to the charm and gaity of its expression."--Anthony Quinton, The Times of London. (shrink)
The Berlin Group was an equal partner with the Vienna Circle as a school of scientific philosophy, albeit one that pursued an itinerary of its own. But while the latter presented its defining projects in readily discernible terms and became immediately popular, the Berlin Group, whose project was at least as sig-nificant as that of its Austrian counterpart, remained largely unrecognized. The task of this chapter is to distinguish the Berliners’ work from that of the Vienna Circle and (...) to bring to light its impact in the history of scientific philosophy. (shrink)
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the philosopher Hans Reichenbach led a group of like-minded colleagues in Berlin that must count as an independent point of origin of the movement of logical empiricism. Like the Vienna Circle with whom they cooperated on numerous occasions, their concern was to develop a philosophy of science adequate to the latest advances in science itself. Differences of philosophical background and interests, however, resulted in putting different accents by justifying scientific knowledge.
The main purpose of this article is to undertake a conceptual investigation of the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm: a psychological project initiated by Paul Baltes and intended to study the complex phenomenon of wisdom. Firstly, in order to provide a wider perspective for the subsequent analyses, a short historical sketch is given. Secondly, a meta-theoretical issue of the degree to which the subject matter of the Baltesian study can be identified with the traditional philosophical wisdom is addressed. The main result (...) yielded by a careful conceptual analysis is that the philosophical and psychological concepts of wisdom, though not entirely the same, are at least parallel. Finally, one of the revealed aspects of the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm, i.e. its relative neglect of the non-cognitive and personal aspects of wisdom is brought to the fore. This deficiency, it is suggested, can be remedied by the application of the virtue ethics' conceptual framework. (shrink)
El presente texto de Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003) apareció por primera vez en una traducción al italiano de Guido Neri bajo el título “II nome Berlino” [El nombre Berlín], publicado en 1964 en la revista literaria dirigida por Elio Vittorini e Italo Calvino Il menabó 7, año 6, pp. 121-25. El texto original en francés se extravió y, con la autorización del propio Blanchot, Hélène Jelen y Jean-Luc Nancy tradujeron la versión italiana al francés para publicarla en 1983 como “Le Nom (...) de Berlin” en una edición bilingüe. Desde entonces, la versión francesa ha sido reimpresa múltiples veces: en Cafe 3 (1983), 43-6; Berlin, collection Libération, 4 (1989); y Po&sie 52 (1990), 6-8. El texto fue finalmente republicado con su nombre original en francés, es decir, “Berlin” para la publicación de la traducción cuatrilingüe francés, inglés, ruso y alemán) aparecida en 1994 en MLN, Vol. 109, No. 3, German Issue (Apr.), The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 345-355. Se ha decidido traducir este texto también en lengua hispana por su innegable actualidad y peculiar claridad. En él no se trata exclusivamente sobre la realidad política, económica y lingüística de Berlín (o de Alemania) durante la Guerra Fría. Las reflexiones de Blanchot permanecen tan vigentes como el fenómeno que aquí decide enfrentar en sus múltiples aspectos: los fundamentos mismos de la política y el Estado en la modernidad. Para esta primera traducción al castellano del texto se ha tomado como referencia la versión de Jelen y Nancy antes mencionada. (shrink)
Ever since the first meeting of the proponents of the emerging Logical Empiricism in 1923, there existed philosophical differences as well as personal rivalries between the groups in Berlin and Vienna, headed by Hans Reichenbach and Moritz Schlick, respectively. Early theoretical tensions between Schlick and Reichenbach were caused by Reichenbach's (neo) Kantian roots (esp. his version of the relativized a priori), who himself regarded the Vienna Circle as a sort of anti-realist "positivist school"—as he described it in his Experience (...) and Prediction (1938). One result of this divergence was Schlick's preference of Carnap over Reichenbach for a position at the University of Vienna (in 1926), and his decision not to serve as a co-editor with Reichenbach for the journal Erkenntnis that they jointly established in 1930 (which was then co-edited by Carnap and Reichenbach from 1930 to 1938). A second split rooted in different views on induction and probability, which culminated in the Hans Reichenbach's refusal to serve as an invited author on probability within the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science series ed. by Rudolf Carnap, Charles Morris and Otto Neurath from 1938 onwards. In this regard it is remarkable that also Richard von Mises, who was the second leading figure of Logical Empiricism in Turkish exile, criticized the theory of probability put forward by his former Berlin colleague. In this paper I analyse this controversial exchange, drawing on the relevant correspondence and asking whether these (meta) philosophical differences were a typical feature of the pluralism inherent in Logical Empiricism in general. (shrink)
The Berlin Group for scientific philosophy was active between 1928 and 1933 and was closely related to the Vienna Circle. In 1930, the leaders of the two Groups, Hans Reichenbach and Rudolf Carnap, launched the journal Erkenntnis. However, between the Berlin Group and the Vienna Circle, there was not only close relatedness but also significant difference. Above all, while the Berlin Group explored philosophical problems of the actual practice of science, the Vienna Circle, closely following Wittgenstein, was (...) more interested in problems of the language of science. The book includes first discussion ever (in three chapters) on Walter Dubislav’s logic and philosophy. Two chapters are devoted to another author scarcely explored in English, Kurt Grelling, and another one to Paul Oppenheim who became an important figure in the philosophy of science in the USA in the 1940s–1960s. Finally, the book discusses the precursor of the Nord-German tradition of scientific philosophy, Jacob Friedrich Fries. Mehr anzeigen Weniger anzeigen . (shrink)
What is the role of language in human cognition? Could we attain self-consciousness and construct our civilisation without language? Such were the questions at the basis of eighteenth-century debates on the joint evolution of language, mind, and culture. Language and Enlightenment highlights the importance of language in the social theory, epistemology, and aesthetics of the Enlightenment. While focusing on the Berlin Academy under Frederick the Great, Avi Lifschitz situates the Berlin debates within a larger temporal and geographical framework. (...) He argues that awareness of the historicity and linguistic rootedness of all forms of life was a mainstream Enlightenment notion rather than a feature of the so-called 'Counter-Enlightenment'. -/- Enlightenment authors of different persuasions investigated whether speechless human beings could have developed their language and society on their own. Such inquiries usually pondered the difficult shift from natural signs like cries and gestures to the artificial, articulate words of human language. This transition from nature to artifice was mirrored in other domains of inquiry, such as the origins of social relations, inequality, the arts and the sciences. By examining a wide variety of authors - Leibniz, Wolff, Condillac, Rousseau, Michaelis, and Herder, among others - Language and Enlightenment emphasises the open and malleable character of the eighteenth-century Republic of Letters. The language debates demonstrate that German theories of culture and language were not merely a rejection of French ideas. New notions of the genius of language and its role in cognition were constructed through a complex interaction with cross-European currents, especially via the prize contests at the Berlin Academy. (shrink)
The essay provides a short outline of Berlin's career and an assessment of his contribution to pluralist and liberal thought. He was a British academic with a Russian cast of mind, and an inhabitant of the ivory tower who was very much at home in the diplomatic and political world. Similarly, he was neither a historian of ideas nor a political philosopher in the narrow sense usually understood in the modern academy. Rather, he engaged in a trans-historical conversation about (...) the human condition with such figures as Machiavelli, Herzen, Vico, and Herder. The Russian liberal understanding of the historical and cultural setting was, in his view, much superior to that of familiar figures such as John Stuart Mill, just as the nonliberal Machiavelli cast a particularly vivid light on the problems of a pluralist world view. (shrink)
In Berlin two rabbinical seminaries, a Reform and Conservative, have recently been established. The historical and intellectual roots of these institutions in the nineteenth century is sketched, and then contrasted with the present curriculum and the religious profile of the students. Some theological questions for the future of these projects conclude the article.
Pensamientos desde Berlín, pensamientos sobre Berlín; lo que el autor ve, siente, percibe y lo que capta en relación con todo su amplio bagaje de lecturas. Ver, entender, leer, del ojo a la pluma, del recuerdo a la pluma, magia o realidad de un encuentro.
Neo-Kantianism emerged over the course of the 1860s and it occupied a leading position in the German universities from the 1870s until the First World War. Demands for getting "back to Kant" had become common since the early 1860s, and these demands were discussed in the meetings of the Philosophical Society of Berlin (Philosophische Gesellschaft zu Berlin; PGB), which was the international organization of Hegelians. In this paper I address some reactions among the PGB members to the 1860s (...) Kant revival. The journal "Der Gedanke", the organ of the PGB, reported closely how Kant returned to the spotlight of German philosophy. The reactions of the PGB members to the Kant revival was not only critical. Over the course of the 1860s the interest on Kant among the members grew little by little. (shrink)
Von 1925 bis 1928 wurden im Berliner J. M. Spaeth-Verlag unter der Leitung von Hans Rosenkranz eine Reihe von Werken seinerzeit eher unbekannter, in der Retrospektive jedoch signifikanter Autoren der Zwischenkriegszeit publiziert. Der Beitrag thematisiert Rosenkranz als jungen Verleger und Bewunderer Stefan Zweigs. Er entwirft auf Grundlage der Archivüberlieferung einen neuen Blick auf die Geschichte des Unternehmens und kommentiert das damit verbundene literarische Programm: Welche wichtigen verlegerischen Projekte wurden in jener kurzen Zeit unternommen? Welche Rolle hatte Stefan Zweig für das (...) Zustandekommen einiger Titel und besonders in den letzten Wochen der Verlagsexistenz? Inwiefern lässt sich Programmgestaltung und ökonomische Entwicklung von J. M. Spaeth als paradigmatisch für jüdische Verlage in der Weimarer Republik verstehen? Dazu wird erstmals das Scheitern des Unternehmens während der „Bücherkrise“ Ende der 1920er Jahre aus den Quellen rekonstruiert. (shrink)
Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773–1843) was the most prolific German philosopher of science in the nineteenth century who strived to synthesize Kant’s philosophical foundation of science and mathematics and the needs or practised science and mathematics in order to gain more comprehensive conceptual frameworks and greater methodological flexibility for those two disciplines. His original contributions anticipated later developments, to some extent, though they received comparatively little notice in the later course of the nineteenth century—a fate which partly can be explained by (...) the unfortunate development of the so-called ‘First Friesian School,’ founded by E. F. Apelt, M. J. Schleiden and O. X. Schlömilch. This situation changed temporarily when Leonard Nelson (1882–1927) arrived on the philosophical stage and founded a second, so-called, ‘New Friesian School’ in 1903. In the following two decades, Fries’ specific transformation of Kantian philosophy gained influence within the vigorous discussions about ‘new’ foundations of mathematics and, thus, also played a role within the Berlin Group surrounding Hans Reichenbach, though his work had no direct impact on the philosophy of physics being expounded therein. -/- This essay will first outline some characteristics of Fries’ development of the Kantian approach. Then it will point out the limited impact of the ‘New Friesian School’ on the Berlin Group, while highlighting some missed chances for fruitful exchange. As the originality of this school and its importance for the development of logic and philosophy of mathematics—by and large merits of its early members Walter Dubislav and Kurt Grelling —is dealt with in separate chapters of this volume, and elsewhere, this article will focus on what Fries called the ‘mathematical philosophy of nature’ (i. e. the philosophical foundations of physics). More specifically, it will show how the New Friesian School reacted to Einstein’s theories of relativity, in a way that contrasts with the approach of the Berlin Group. This discussion about relativity will also be used to reveal different understandings of the nature of ‘scientific philosophy’ in general, as well as different models of how philosophy and the empirical sciences should interact. (shrink)
The received view has it that Hans Reichenbach and his friends of the Berlin Group worked close together with the more prominent Vienna Circle. In the wake of this view, Reichenbach was often treated as a logical positivist – despite the fact that he decisively opposed it. In this chapter we follow another thread. We shall show the “third man”– besides Reichenbach and Walter Dubislav – of the Berlin Group, Kurt Grelling, as a man who could grasp the (...) academic trends of the time faster than anybody else, who was better informed about logic and philosophy of nature than his two prominent colleagues and thus, could better delineate, although tentatively, central threads of research of the Berlin Group. Grelling did this on several occasions, but most ostensibly in the last years of his life when he was focused on problems of formal ontology. On the basis of this analysis, we shall see that in the early 1920s, Reichenbach too was led by a project in ontology of science that he elaborated together with the psychologist Kurt Lewin. Moreover, Reichenbach’s later philosophy of nature was also shaped by this project. We present this direction of philosophy of science as a “road less travelled” which, however, if revived, can point to a new direction that will more closely connect philosophy and science. (shrink)
In Hobbes, freedom of choice requires nonfrustration: the option you prefer must be accessible. In Berlin, it requires noninterference: every option, preferred or unpreferred, must be accessible—every door must be open. But Berlin’s argument against Hobbes suggests a parallel argument that freedom requires something stronger still: that each option be accessible and that no one have the power to block access; the doors should be open, and there should be no powerful doorkeepers. This is freedom as nondomination. The (...) claim is that freedom as noninterference is an unstable alternative between freedom as nonfrustration and freedom as nondomination. (shrink)
The ancient Greeks already used to give ethnic names to their different scales, and observations on differences in music of the various nations always raised the interest of musicians and philosophers. Yet, it was only in the late nineteenth century that “comparative musicology” became an institutional science. An important role in this process was played by Carl Stumpf, a former pupil of Brentano’s who pioneered these researches in Berlin. Stumpf founded the Phonogrammarchiv to collect recordings of folk and extra-European (...) music and a dedicated journal, the Sammelbände für vergleichende Musikwissenschaft. Gifted in the field of science no less than in that of musicology, Stumpf developed an empirically-oriented approach to phenomenology, deeply divergent from Husserl’s and highly influential over the Berlin school of Gestalt psychology. A self-declared “outsider” among armchair philosophers, Stumpf experimentally investigated the perception of sounds and the origins of musical consonance. Developing the physiological studies of Ernst Weber on the sense of touch, Stumpf discovered that two sensations of tone, given at the same time, tend to mix in a certain degree. Musical consonance – he claimed – lays in this level of “tonal fusion”, not in the allegedly “natural” series of the harmonic partials of a vibrating chord, as suggested by the naturalists of all times from Pythagoras to Stumpf’s great contemporary Hermann Helmholtz. Accordingly, no musical system can claim for preponderance over the others: Stumpf’s researches in comparative musicology served to corroborate his theses on “tonal fusion” and the psychological foundations of consonance. Although Stumpf later revised and finally abandoned this theory, its permanent value lays in its opposition to dominant naturalistic approaches. The commitment for comparative musicology at the Berlin School is then no concession to a positivistic fashion for exoticism. The fundamentally Eurocentric stance of naturalistic theories of music is also fiercely contrasted by Stumpf’s pupil Erich Hornbostel, who suggests that music ought to be considered as culture, rather than as nature, and focuses attention on the eventually melting human cultures. The Berlin school flourished until the Nazis forced most of its exponents to emigration and, for tragically obvious reasons, heavily discouraged researches on these topics. (shrink)
This article contributes to the emerging discussion on responsible leadership by providing an analysis of the inner theatre of a responsible leader. I use a narrative approach for analyzing the biography of Anita Roddick as a widely acknowledged prototype of a responsible leader. With clinical and normative lenses I explore the relationship between responsible leadership behavior and the underlying motivational systems. I begin the article with an introduction outlining the current state of responsible leadership research and explaining the kind (...) of magnifying glasses used to examine the case. I continue with a brief summary of Anita Roddick’s development from childhood to adulthood, which provides the biographical background for exploring her motivational systems as a leader. Against this backdrop, I analyze the relationship between motivational drivers and a responsible leadership identity as revealed by Roddick in different behavioral leadership roles. I conclude the article by providing a number of lessons learned for responsible leadership and the development of future global leaders. (shrink)
Amid the ongoing political turmoil, symbolized by the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, books and articles abound today to encourage us to re-read anti-totalitarian classics ‘for our times’. But what do we find in this body of work originally written in response to Nazism and Stalinism? Do we find a democratic consensus forged by a shared anti-totalitarian commitment? I doubt it. Considering the cases of Isaiah Berlin and Hannah Arendt, this article highlights discord beneath what may today appear like (...) a post-war democratic consensus. I argue that the anti-totalitarian literature of the last century encompassed multiple political philosophies, which sometimes differed irreconcilably from each other. (shrink)
Isaiah Berlin was recognized as Britain's most distinguished historian of ideas. Berlin is particularly associated with the concept of the 'Counter-Enlightenment', comprising those thinkers who in Berlin's view reacted against the Enlightenment's naïve rationalism, scientism and progressivism. Berlin's 'Counter-Enlightenment' has received critical attention, but no-one has yet analysed the understanding of the Enlightenment on which it rests. Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment explores the development of Berlin's conception of the Enlightenment, noting its curious narrowness, (...) its ambivalence, and its indebtedness to a specific German intellectual tradition. Contributors to the book examine his comments on individual writers, showing how they were inflected by his questionable assumptions, and arguing that some of the writers he assigned to the 'Counter-Enlightenment' have closer affinities to the Enlightenment than he recognized. By locating Berlin in the history of Enlightenment studies, this book also makes a contribution to defining the historical place of his work and to evaluating his intellectual legacy. (shrink)
Isaiah Berlin was a central figure in twentieth-century political thought. This volume highlights Berlin's significance for contemporary readers, covering not only his writings on liberty and liberalism, the Enlightenment and Romanticism, Russian thinkers and pluralism, but also the implications of his thought for political theory, history, and the social sciences, as well as the ethical challenges confronting political actors, and the nature and importance of practical judgment for politics and scholarship. His name and work are inseparable from the (...) revival of political philosophy and the analysis of political extremism and defense of democratic liberalism following World War II. Berlin was primarily an essayist who spoke through commentary on other authors and, while his own commitments and allegiances are clear enough, much in his thought remains controversial. Berlin's work constitutes an unsystematic and incomplete, but nevertheless sweeping and profound, defense of political, ethical, and intellectual humanism in an anti-humanistic age. (shrink)
What were the earliest reactions to Gödel's incompleteness theorems? After a brief summary of previous work in this area I analyse, by means of unpublished archival material, the first reactions in Vienna and Berlin to Gödel's groundbreaking results. In particular, I look at how Carnap, Hempel, von Neumann, Kaufmann, and Chwistek, among others, dealt with the new results.
What has become generally known as the Berlin School of Logical Empiricism constitutes a philosophical movement that was erected on foundations laid by Albert Einstein. His revolutionary work in physics had a profound impact on philosophers interested in scientific issues, prominent among them Paul Oppenheim and Hans Reichenbach, the founding fathers of the school, who joined in viewing him as their hero among philosopher-scientists. Overall the membership of this school falls into three groups. The founding generation was linked by (...) the circumstance that both Grelling and Reichenbach were collaborators of Oppenheim; the middle generation by the fact that both Hempel and Helmer were students of Reichenbach's in Berlin; and the younger generation by the fact that all of its members were students and disciples either of Reichenbach's or of Hempel's in the USA. Three stages are at issue: an initial phase in Berlin, a transatlantic migration, and a continuation in the U.S.A.--principally in Pittsburgh. (shrink)
Rooftop gardens, rooftop greenhouses and indoor farms have been established or planned by activists and private companies in Berlin. These projects promise to produce a range of goods that could have positive impacts on the urban setting but also carry a number of risks and uncertainties. In this early innovation phase, the relevant stakeholders’ perceptions and social acceptance of ZFarming represent important preconditions for success or failure of the further diffusion of this practice. We used the framework of acceptance (...) to investigate the stakeholders’ attitudes and to identify the key factors that might hinder or promote the introduction of ZFarming. The results are based on an analysis of 38 qualitative interviews conducted with key stakeholders in Berlin. As the results show, major perceived benefits of ZFarming include improved consumer awareness, education, and the creation of experimental spaces. Stakeholders further perceive opportunities for resource savings, new business models, repurposing of abandoned buildings and improved aesthetics. Major perceived risks are associated with growing techniques that are considered “unnatural”, health risks, conflicts with images of traditional agriculture, the rejection of animal production in urban areas, the risk of projects being too expensive and too complex or being implemented too early, i.e. before the mechanisms are fully understood. The analysis further reveals which contextual factors—political, legal, market-related, spatial or societal—might negatively or positively influence ZFarming acceptance. (shrink)
This essay considers the theoretical disagreement between Isaiah Berlin and Hannah Arendt on the meaning and value of freedom. Berlin thinks that negative liberty as non-interference is commendable because it is attuned to the implication of value pluralism that man is a choice-making creature and cannot be otherwise. By contrast, the political freedom to act is in Arendt’s view a more fulfilling ideal because it is only in political action that man’s potentiality is actualised, his unique identity manifested (...) and his being-in-the-world-with-others reaffirmed. What lies beneath the two thinkers’ dispute over the most satisfactory meaning of freedom, I argue, is a deeper disagreement over human nature itself. The implication of this analysis for the contemporary debate between pluralist liberals and their agonistic critics is briefly discussed in conclusion. (shrink)
Culturally diverse liberal democracies on both sides of the Atlantic are currently faced with serious questions about the education of their future citizens. What is the balance between the need for social cohesion, and at the same time dealing justly with the demands for exemptions and accommodations from cultural and religious minorities? In contemporary Britain, the importance of this question has been recently highlighted by the concern to develop political and educational strategies capable of countering the influence of extremist voices, (...) in both the majority and minority communities. Starting from recent debates in North America about possible accommodations to meet the concerns of non-liberal religious groups, the book goes on to examine several issues centered on education in culturally-diverse societies. Neil Burtonwood argues persuasively that the work of Isaiah Berlin, the British philosopher and historian of ideas, has considerable potential for illuminating questions about a properly liberal response to pluralism, and the education of cultural minority children in a liberal democracy. This is the first book to bring his writing to bear on education. Berlin's liberalism is distinctive in attending to the benefits that individuals gain from their memberships of cultural identity groups and religious communities, while remaining committed to Enlightenment values based on individual freedom. Yet his need to find compromises to balance the claims of individuals and groups makes Berlin's version of liberal pluralism so relevant to many vital questions of education policy and practice that concern philosophers of education today. (shrink)
One of the most pressing dilemmas of the moment concerns pluralism and the issue of justification: how does one defend a commitment to any particular position? The fear is that pluralism undercuts our ability to justify our moral and political views, and thereby leads to relativism. As I argue here, Isaiah Berlin provides an exemplary argument concerning the ties between pluralism and liberalism. Although Berlin admits there is no logical link between pluralism and liberalism, he nevertheless highlights plausible (...) ties between pluralism and the fields of philosophy, history and politics, all of which provide good reasons for him to endorse liberalism. Moreover, these arguments indicate how pluralism differs from relativism, so that pluralists such as Berlin are not guilty of the charge of moral subjectivism. A reconsideration of Berlin's position thus provides insight into the problem of justification in a pluralist condition, one that illuminates certain features of pluralism, as well as exemplifies its compatibility with liberalism. (shrink)
Isaiah Berlin is known for articulating two competing notions of freedom operative within the modern Western political philosophy, negative and positive. He provides a powerful defense of modern liberal tradition that elevates negative freedom in its attempt to preserve personal space for one's actions and choices while regarding positive freedom as suppressive due to its potentially collective orientation. This article uses Berlin as an interlocutor to challenge Zhuangzi, known for his portrayal of spiritual freedom in the Chinese tradition, (...) prodding modern Zhuangzians to bring the Zhuangzian spiritual freedom into the sociopolitical arena by reimagining new possibilities about politics. (shrink)
Ever since the first meeting of the proponents of the emerging Logical Empiricism in 1923, there existed philosophical differences as well as personal rivalries between the groups in Berlin and Vienna, headed by Hans Reichenbach and Moritz Schlick, respectively. Early theoretical tensions between Schlick and Reichenbach were caused by Reichenbach’s Kantian roots, who himself regarded the Vienna Circle as a sort of anti-realist “positivist school”—as he described it in his Experience and Prediction. One result of this divergence was Schlick’s (...) preference of Carnap over Reichenbach for a position at the University of Vienna, and his decision not to serve as a co-editor with Reichenbach for the journal Erkenntnis that they jointly established in 1930. A second split rooted in different views on induction and probability, which culminated in the Hans Reichenbach’s refusal to serve as an invited author on probability within the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science series ed. by Rudolf Carnap, Charles Morris and Otto Neurath from 1938 onwards. In this regard it is remarkable that also Richard von Mises, who was the second leading figure of Logical Empiricism in Turkish exile, criticized the theory of probability put forward by his former Berlin colleague. In this paper I analyse this controversial exchange, drawing on the relevant correspondence and asking whether these philosophical differences were a typical feature of the pluralism inherent in Logical Empiricism in general. (shrink)
In Isaiah Berlin, John Gray interprets Berlin as having made value pluralism the basis of an anti‐rationalist, “agonistic” liberalism. Gray argues that Berlin's value pluralism actually stands in tension with his liberalism, and that a whole‐hearted affirmation of value pluralism should have led him to reject the claim that liberal institutions are morally superior. But Berlin's pluralism is more moderate than that ascribed to him by Gray, in that it does not allow for diminishing the value (...) of liberty beyond a certain point. This version of pluralism is more compatible with the objectivity Gray claims for pluralism than is his own version. (shrink)