2014年10月21日 星期二

“short credo” ;The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin 以赛亚•柏林的遗产

Isaiah Berlin

Twenty years ago—on November 25, 1994—Isaiah Berlin accepted the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the University of Toronto. He prepared the following “short credo” (as he called it in a letter to a friend) for the ceremony, at which it was read on his behalf. David Williams/Corbis The grave of Karl Marx, Highgate Cemetery, London, March 2014 “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” With these words Dickens began his famous novel A Tale of Two Cities . But this cannot, alas, be said about our own terrible century. Men have for millennia destroyed each other, but the deeds of Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Napoleon (who introduced mass killings in war), even the Armenian massacres, pale into insignificance before the Russian Revolution and its aftermath: the oppression, torture, murder which can be laid at the doors of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, and the systematic falsification of information which prevented knowledge of these horrors for years—these are unparalleled. They were not natural disasters, but preventable human crimes, and whatever those who believe in historical determinism may think, they could have been averted. I speak with particular feeling, for I am a very old man, and I have lived through almost the entire century. My life has been peaceful and secure, and I feel almost ashamed of this in view of what has happened to so many other human beings. I am not a historian, and so I cannot speak with authority on the causes of these horrors. Yet perhaps I can try. They were, in my view, not caused by the ordinary negative human sentiments, as Spinoza called them—fear, greed, tribal hatreds, jealousy, love of power—though of course these have played their wicked part. They have been caused, in our time, by ideas; or rather, by one particular idea. It is paradoxical that Karl Marx, who played down the importance of ideas in comparison with impersonal social and economic forces, should, by his writings, have caused the transformation of the twentieth century, both in the direction of what he wanted and, by reaction, against it. The German poet Heine, in one of his famous writings, told us not to underestimate the quiet philosopher sitting in his study; if Kant had not undone theology, he declared, Robespierre might not have cut off the head of the King of France. He predicted that the armed disciples of the German philosophers— Fichte, Schelling, and the other fathers of German nationalism—would one day destroy the great monuments of Western Europe in a wave of fanatical destruction before which the French Revolution would seem child's play. This may have been unfair to the German metaphysicians, yet Heine's central idea seems to me valid: in a debased form, the Nazi ideology did have roots in German anti-Enlightenment thought. There are men who will kill and maim with a tranquil conscience under the influence of the words and writings of some of those who are certain that they know perfection can be reached. Let me explain. If you are truly convinced that there is some solution to all human problems, that one can conceive an ideal society which men can reach if only they do what is necessary to attain it , then you and your followers must believe that no price can be too high to pay in order to open the gates of such a paradise. Only the stupid and malevolent will resist once certain simple truths are put to them. Those who resist must be persuaded ; if they cannot be persuaded, laws must be passed to restrain them; if that does not work, then coercion, if need be violence, will inevitably have to be used—if necessary, terror, slaughter. Lenin believed this after reading Das Kapital , and consistently taught that if a just, peaceful , happy, free, virtuous society could be created by the means he advocated, then the end justified any methods that needed to be used, literally any. The root conviction which underlies this is that the central questions of human life, individual or social, have one true answer which can be discovered. It can and must be implemented, and those who have found it are the leaders whose word is law. The idea that to all genuine questions there can be only one true answer is a very old philosophical notion. The great Athenian philosophers, Jews and Christians, the thinkers of the Renaissance and the Paris of Louis XIV, the French radical reformers of the eighteenth century, the revolutionaries of the nineteenth—however much they differed about what the answer was or how to discover it (and bloody wars were fought over this)—were all convinced that they knew the answer, and that only human vice and stupidity could obstruct its realization . This is the idea of​​ which I spoke, and what I wish to tell you is that it is false. Not only because the solutions given by different schools of social thought differ, and none can be demonstrated by rational methods—but for an even deeper reason. The central values​​ by which most men have lived, in a great many lands at a great many times—these values​​, almost if not entirely universal, are not always harmonious with each other. Some are, some are not. Men have always craved for liberty, security, equality, happiness, justice, knowledge, and so on. But complete liberty is not compatible with complete equality—if men were wholly free, the wolves would be free to eat the sheep. Perfect equality means that human liberties must be restrained so that the ablest and the most gifted are not permitted to advance beyond those who would inevitably lose if there were competition. Security, and indeed freedoms, cannot be preserved if freedom to subvert them is permitted. Indeed, not everyone seeks security or peace , otherwise some would not have sought glory in battle or in dangerous sports. Justice has always been a human ideal, but it is not fully compatible with mercy. Creative imagination and spontaneity, splendid in themselves, cannot be fully reconciled with the need for planning , organization, careful and responsible calculation. Knowledge, the pursuit of truth— the noblest of aims—cannot be fully reconciled with the happiness or the freedom that men desire, for even if I know that I have some incurable disease this will not make me happier or freer. I must always choose: between peace and excitement, or knowledge and blissful ignorance. And so on. So what is to be done to restrain the champions, sometimes very fanatical, of one or other of these values​​, each of whom tends to trample upon the rest, as the great tyrants of the twentieth century have trampled on the life, liberty, and human rights of millions because their eyes were fixed upon some ultimate golden future? I am afraid I have no dramatic answer to offer: only that if these ultimate human values​​ by which we live are to be pursued, then compromises, trade-offs, arrangements have to be made ​​if the worst is not to happen. So much liberty for so much equality, so much individual self-expression for so much security, so much justice for so much compassion. My point is that some values​​ clash: the ends pursued by human beings are all generated by our common nature, but their pursuit has to be to some degree controlled—liberty and the pursuit of happiness, I repeat, may not be fully compatible with each other, nor are liberty, equality, and fraternity. So we must weigh and measure, bargain, compromise, and prevent the crushing of one form of life by its rivals. I know only too well that this is not a flag under which idealistic and enthusiastic young men and women may wish to march—it seems too tame, too reasonable, too bourgeois, it does not engage the generous emotions. But you must believe me, one cannot have everything one wants—not only in practice, but even in theory. The denial of this, the search for a single, overarching ideal because it is the one and only true one for humanity, invariably leads to coercion . And then to destruction, blood—eggs are broken, but the omelette is not in sight, there is only an infinite number of eggs, human lives, ready for the breaking. And in the end the passionate idealists forget the omelette, and just go on breaking eggs. I am glad to note that toward the end of my long life some realization of this is beginning to dawn. Rationality, tolerance, rare enough in human history, are not despised. Liberal democracy, despite everything, despite the greatest modern scourge of fanatical, fundamentalist nationalism, is spreading. Great tyrannies are in ruins, or will be—even in China the day is not too distant. I am glad that you to whom I speak will see the twenty-first century, which I feel sure can be only a better time for mankind than my terrible century has been. I congratulate you on your good fortune; I regret that I shall not see this brighter future, which I am convinced is coming. With all the gloom that I have been spreading, I am glad to end on an optimistic note. There really are good reasons to think that it is justified. © The Isaiah Berlin Literary Trust 2014

The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin - Google圖書結果

Mark Lilla , Ronald D. Dworkin , Robert B. Silvers - 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 208頁
The papers given at the conference and collected in this volume concentrate on three aspects of Berlin's concept of pluralism.

New York Review Books, 2001 - 208 頁
In the fall of 1998, one year after the death of Isaiah Berlin, the New York Institute for the Humanities organized a conference to consider his intellectual legacy. The scholars who participated devoted much of their attention to the question of pluralism, which for Berlin was central to liberal values​​​​. His belief in pluralism was at the core of his philosophical writings as well as his studies of contemporary politics and the history of ideas. The papers given at the conference and collected in this volume concentrate on three aspects of Berlin's concept of pluralism. Aileen Kelly, Mark Lilla, and Steven Lukes trace the development and consequences of his distinction between "hedgehogs," thinkers who have a single, unified theory of human action and history, and "foxes," who believe in multiplicity and resist the impulse to subject humanity to a universal vision. Ronald Dworkin, Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, and Charles Taylor examine how liberalism can be sustained in the face of Berlin's insight that equally legitimate values​​​​, such as liberty and equality, may come into irreconcilable conflict. Avishai Margalit, Richard Wollheim, Michael Walzer, and Robert Silvers take up Berlin's advocacy for the State of Israel and his hopes for it as a place where the often contrary values​​​​ of liberalism and nationalism might find harmonious resolution. The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin includes not only the panelists' contributions but also transcripts of the lively exchanges among themselves and with audience members following each session. The two days of discussion preserved here demonstrate the continuing vitality and relevance of Isaiah Berlin's thought in today's social and political debates.
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  能夠在這本書裡,看到托馬斯·內格爾,羅納德·德海金,查爾斯·泰勒和伯納德·威廉姆斯這些桌越的思想家聚集一起,就一個問題著述討論,真是一次難得的享受……每一個觀點似乎都充滿了神韻。以賽亞·伯林是二十世紀最傑出的自由主義思想家之一。一九九八年秋,在他去世一年後,紐約人文研究院組織了一場關於伯林思想遺產的研討會。會議邀請了為數不多的一群對伯林思想頗有研究的學者,以向公開的批評和審視開放的方式集中討論伯林的思想遺產。多元主義是與會學者一個核心關注點:伯林的多元主義信念是他的思想史研究與哲學論述的核心,他也將多元主義視為自由價值的關鍵所在。在會議上提交並編入此書的論文著眼於伯林作品的三個方面。馬克·里拉等回溯了伯林關於“刺猬”和“狐狸”之區別的理論的發展和結果。伯林以“刺猬”指稱那些對​​ 人類行為和歷史持有整體的、統一的理論的思想家,而以“狐狸”指稱那些信奉多樣性的思想家,他們拒絕那種將人性服從於普遍視野的衝動。羅納德·德沃金等研究分析了面對伯林的洞見——同等合法的價值,如自由與平等,可能走向無法調和的相互衝突——自由主義如何可能繼續下去。羅伯特·西爾維斯等探討了伯林對以色列國的辯護,以及他對以色列所寄託的希望:使其成為能使自由主義與民族主義這兩種經常對立的價值和諧共存的地方。本書不僅包括與會學者提交的論文,而且還收入了他們之間現場交流討論的文本記錄。這些探索與討論顯示了以賽亞·伯林的思想在當今社會與政治辯論中依然持續的活力和相關性。


馬克·里拉(Hark Lilla)美國芝加哥大學社會思想委員會教授。編輯本段圖書目錄導言   

第三部分民族主義與以色列引言民族主義的“曲木” 伯林和猶太復國主義自由主義,民族主義與改良討論:民族主義與以色列譯後記