Yet while Berlin sometimes suggests that values are human creations,at other times he seems to advance what amounts almost to a theory ofnatural law, albeit in minimalist, empirical dress. In such cases hesuggests that there are certain unvarying features of human beings, asthey have been constituted throughout recorded history, that makecertain values important, or even necessary, to them. This view of theorigin of values also comes into play in Berlin’s defence of the valueof liberty, when he suggests that the freedom to think, to enquire andto imagine without constraint or fear is valuable because human beingsneed to be able to have such mental freedom; to deny it to them is adenial of their nature, which imposes an intolerable burden.
Isaiah Berlin was born in 1909 in Riga (then in the Russian Empire,now capital of Latvia), the son of Mendel Berlin, a prosperous timbermerchant, and his wife Marie, née Volshonok. In 1915 the familymoved to Andreapol, in Russia, and in 1917 to Petrograd (nowSt Petersburg), where they remained through both the RussianRevolutions of 1917, which Isaiah would remember witnessing. Despiteearly harassment by the Bolsheviks, the family was permitted toreturn to Riga with Latvian citizenship in 1920; from there theyemigrated, in 1921, to Britain. They lived in and around London;Isaiah attended St Paul’s School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford,where he studied Greats (classical languages, ancient history, andphilosophy) and PPE (politics, philosophy and economics). In 1932 hewas appointed a lecturer at New College; the same year he became thefirst Jew to be elected to a Prize Fellowship at All Souls, consideredone of the highest accolades in British academic life.
Location: Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Berlin’s approach combined a sceptical empiricism with neo-Kantianismto offer a defence of philosophy. Like Giambattista Vico and Wilhelm Dilthey, as well as neo-Kantianssuch as Heinrich Rickert and Wilhelm Windelband, Berlin insisted onthe fundamental difference between the natural and human sciences. Heclassed philosophy among the human sciences; but even there its statuswas unique. If earlier thinkers had regarded philosophy as ascientia scientiarum, Berlin regarded it as a scientianescientiarum, the form of enquiry concerning those things whichcannot be objects of empirical knowledge.
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This volume focuses on multicultural education and discusses multicultural practices in nine countries including the US, England, Russia, Germany, Nigeria, South Africa, India, Canada, and Turkey. It provides an insight to the adaptation of multicultural educational policies and practices in these countries from a comparative perspective. It also explores the meaning, necessity, benefits, and importance of multicultural education for students, practitioners, researchers, educators, and policy makers in social science education. In addition, this book offers ideas culled from successful multicultural programs in the aforementioned countries and discusses how these ideas can be implemented in Turkish educational context. The editor’s expertise in multicultural educational programs and the issues of pluralism, diversity and democracy is reflected in this intellectually rich and comprehensive book. Therefore, the book is bound to become an indispensable reference-point.
byJoshua ChernissHenry Hardy
Berlin’s development and definition of pluralism both begannegatively, with the identification of the opposing position, which hereferred to usually as monism, and sometimes as ‘the Ionianfallacy’ or ‘the Platonic ideal’. His definition ofmonism may be summarised as follows:
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Berlin’s pluralism was not free-standing; it was modified and guidedby other beliefs and commitments. One of these, discussed below, wasliberalism. Another was humanism—the view that human beings areof primary importance, and that avoiding harm to human beings is thefirst moral priority. Berlin therefore held that, in navigatingbetween conflicting values, the first obligation is to avoid extremesof suffering. He insisted that moral collisions, even if unavoidable,can be softened, claims balanced, compromises reached. The goal shouldbe the maintenance of a precarious equilibrium that avoids, as far aspossible, desperate situations and intolerable choices. Philosophyitself cannot tell us how to do this, though it can help by bringingto light the problem of moral conflict and all of its implications,and by weeding out false solutions. But in dealing with conflicts ofvalues, the concrete situation is everything (1990, 17–18).