Friday, January 09, 2004

"Berlin's correct and bold writing was occupied with a large, complex, truth. Modernity's pluralism cannot be flattened by reason. Hence reason must live suspended between incommensurable values and the quest for common human standards, all the while enfolded with unreason. In such circumstances, there is no alternative but to develop practical reason grounded in an uncertain but inescapable pluralism. Berlin thus taught that the threatening waters and currents located in the zone where reason meets unreason cannot be calmed, only navigated. Both as philosophy and as politics, these issues elude definitive solution or resolution. This powerful and compelling instruction is at the center of the edification he offered. It also is the main source of his melancholy."(Social Research | Isaiah Berlin's Modernity. | Ira Katznelson)

isaiah berlin picture
:: note :: . . . navigation of treacherous waters . . . setting one's heart boldly on the currents in a zone of imaginative landscape where meetings occur . . . alive in suspension . . . develop a compelling practice . . .