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The Philosophy Of Isaiah Berlin


'I gradually came to the conclusion that I should prefer a field in which one could hope to know more at the end of one's life than when one had begun.' So wrote Isaiah Berlin toward the end of the Second World War, when he decided to bid farewell to philosophy in favour of the history of ideas. In The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin Johnny Lyons shows that Berlin's Damascene moment actually led him to a more original and engaging way of being a philosopher, since his approach to intellectual history amounted to the pursuit of philosophy by other means. Recasting Berlin as a philosopher who took humanity and history seriously, Lyons reveals the underlying unity of his wide-ranging and seemingly fragmented ideas. By painting Berlin in this new and more illuminating light, he throws into sharp relief the deep and enduring human interest of his thought. Lyons emphasises aspects of Berlin's thinking that have largely been neglected. These include his recognition of historical contingency and of the importance of truth in human affairs as well as his scepticism about determinism and account of why freedom should be valued. This introduction to Berlin's thought, and particularly its examination of these mainly overlooked views, reveals a new Berlin, one with surprising contemporary relevance to the debates that continue to dominate philosophy, politics and intellectual history today.



  • Condition: New
    HPB condition ratings
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    • Fine/Like New (F): Book may have been read. Looks new and has no defects. May show remainder marks. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
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    • Very Good (VG): Shows signs of wear. May have minor defects: clipped or chipped dust jacket; owner’s inscription; remainder mark; minor foxing or bumping. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. May have any of the defects above to a greater degree, including highlighting, library markings, or loose bindings. Rare and collectible books may have cocked spine, cracked hinges, water stains; torn or repaired dust jacket. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Fair (FR): May be very worn, soiled, torn, or barely holding together. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
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    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sold by: HPB.com
  • Seller rating:
  • Language: --
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • ISBN-13: 9781350121423
  • ISBN: 1350121428
  • Publication Year: 2020


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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): Book may have been read. Looks new and has no defects. May show remainder marks. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Near Fine (NF): Clean, with no defects, but may show slight wear at edges of book or dust jacket. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows signs of wear. May have minor defects: clipped or chipped dust jacket; owner’s inscription; remainder mark; minor foxing or bumping. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. May have any of the defects above to a greater degree, including highlighting, library markings, or loose bindings. Rare and collectible books may have cocked spine, cracked hinges, water stains; torn or repaired dust jacket. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): May be very worn, soiled, torn, or barely holding together. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): May have extensive damage from moisture or insects; detached boards; parts may be missing; marginally salable unless very unusual. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
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Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
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  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
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Conditions Guide
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