The Isaiah Berlin Lecture: Berlin on Liberty

Published on:

Thursday 1 November

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Dr Aileen Kelly will hold this year's Isaiah Berlin Lecture in association with the Rothschild Foundation. 

Kelly argues that, although for most of his professional lifetime Isaiah Berlin was commonly seen as a historian of ideas, he is now regarded internationally as a philosopher of continuing importance because of his distinctive contributions to our understanding of the philosophical problems associated with liberty and pluralism.

The Isaiah Berlin Lecture in Association with the Rothschild Foundation: Isaiah Berlin on Liberty shows how both points of view can be correct at the same time – without the historical understanding Berlin obtained, he would not have had such a substantial base for the philosophical position that he reached. It will then be argued in detail how Alexander Herzen, publicist, journalist, publisher, author and thinker, influenced both Berlin’s pluralism and his attitude to liberty.

Dr Aileen Kelly’s research interests are in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Russian intellectual history. Her publications include Views from the Other Shore: Essays on Herzen, Chekhov and Bakhtin (Yale UP, 1999).

Launched in 1990 to celebrate the 80th birthday of Sir Isaiah Berlin, the Berlin Lecture is in his field of study – the history of ideas.