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Talking philosophy

Isaiah Berlin was a brilliant performer-but does he produce decent philosophy?

By prospect   May 2002

Isaiah Berlin was blessed with exceptional good luck, and he always had the generosity to acknowledge it. His early years were spent in Riga and Petrograd in times of revolution and war, but he enjoyed a serene and happy childhood within his wealthy Jewish family, chattering away in Russian and German and reading whatever he liked from his father’s excellent library. When they all moved to England in 1921, the 11 year old Berlin had astonishingly little trouble adjusting to life in the London suburbs, or launching himself into the mysteries of British boyhood, public school, and the English language.…

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