Isaiah Berlin Quotes (displaying: 1 - 21 of 21 quotes)
The notion of the perfect whole, the ultimate solution in which all good things coexist, seems to me not merely unobtainable--that is a truism--but conceptually incoherent. ......Some among the great goods cannot live together. That is a conceptual truth. We are doomed to choose, and every choice may entail an irreparable loss.
[People] cannot live without seeking to describe and explain the universe to themselves. The models they use in doing this must deeply affect their lives, not least when they are unconscious; much of [their] misery and frustration…is due to the mechanical and unconscious, as well as deliberate, application of models where they do not work…The goal of philosophy is always the same, to assist [people] to understand themselves and thus operate in the open and not wildly, in the dark.
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.