Sunday, June 6, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Isaiah Berlin (June 6, 1909 – November 5, 1997), philosopher and historian of ideas.

"Few new truths have ever won their way against the resistance of established ideas save by being overstated." - Isaiah Berlin

"Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs." - Isaiah Berlin

"All forms of tampering with human beings, getting at them, shaping them against their will to your own pattern, all thought control and conditioning is, therefore, a denial of that in men which makes them men and their values ultimate." - Isaiah Berlin

"But to manipulate men, to propel them toward goals which you – the social reformers – see, but they may not, is to deny their human essence, to treat them as objects without wills of their own, and therefore to degrade them." - Isaiah Berlin

"Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not." - Isaiah Berlin

"The first people totalitarians destroy or silence are men of ideas and free minds." - Isaiah Berlin

"To understand is to perceive patterns." - Isaiah Berlin

Berlin image source (1)

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