Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Reason, Development, and the Conflicts of Human Ends: Sir Isaiah Berlin's Vision of Politics

Robert A. Kocis
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 74, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 38-52
DOI: 10.2307/1955645
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1955645
Page Count: 15
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Reason, Development, and the Conflicts of Human Ends: Sir Isaiah Berlin's Vision of Politics
Preview not available

Abstract

At the root of the conflict between Berlin and his critics is a fundamental disagreement over the possibility of certainty and over the relation of human ends to politics. Gerald MacCallum's formalist critique obscures the political question of whose values a free person is at liberty to pursue. Macpherson's attempt to defend positive liberty as not rationalistic is shown to fail because he (a) conflates liberty with its conditions and (b) assumes a rational pattern to human moral development. And Crick charges Berlin with ignoring politics, understood as active participation in the polis. Finally, Berlin's conception of politics as a form of human interaction aimed at creating the conditions of human dignity in a situation where we sincerely disagree over the ends of life is shown to be an effort to liberate us to live for our own purposes. Yet Berlin's defense of liberty is problematic because it is too skeptical; to overcome this difficulty, a non-teleological yet developmentalist account of human nature and a weakly hierarchical account of human values is suggested.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
38
    38
  • Thumbnail: Page 
39
    39
  • Thumbnail: Page 
40
    40
  • Thumbnail: Page 
41
    41
  • Thumbnail: Page 
42
    42
  • Thumbnail: Page 
43
    43
  • Thumbnail: Page 
44
    44
  • Thumbnail: Page 
45
    45
  • Thumbnail: Page 
46
    46
  • Thumbnail: Page 
47
    47
  • Thumbnail: Page 
48
    48
  • Thumbnail: Page 
49
    49
  • Thumbnail: Page 
50
    50
  • Thumbnail: Page 
51
    51
  • Thumbnail: Page 
52
    52