Henry Hardy on Isaiah Berlin

I am sometimes asked why I don’t write on Isaiah Berlin myself. The answer is in two parts: (a) I am an editor, not an author; (b) I have in fact strayed beyond my brief from time to time, usually in response to commissions, and written various short occasional pieces. The next question, sometimes, is why I don’t do so more often. One answer I give to this is ‘Read what I have already written, and perhaps you’ll withdraw your suggestion.’

All my pieces appear in the list of writings about IB on this website, where they are linked to full texts. I also list the pieces here in chronological order of composition, with the same links, in case this is convenient for anyone tempted to ask either of both of the questions mentioned above ...

There are also my brief prefaces to my editions of IB’s writings, but they are mostly of little account.

H.H.


I.B., a short piece of musical juvenilia, written in 1966, first performed under this title in 1975: the link that begins this entry is to a PDF file; there is also a playable file (click the play button, fourth from the left; you may also have to choose a playback device with the preceding button) which gives you a rough rendering of this great work ...

Editing Isaiah Berlin’s Writings, British Book News, January 1978, 3, 5; repr. in Lycidas (the magazine of Wolfson College, Oxford), 34–5

Isaiah Berlin [clerihew], in Gavin Ewart (ed.), Other People’s Clerihews (Oxford, 1983: Oxford University Press), 9

The Compatibility of Incompatibles, Independent, 20 February 1993, 33

Taking Pluralism Seriously, published in translation in Dutch (Nexus 1995 No 13, 74–86) and Spanish (Pablo Badillo O’Farrell and Enrique Bocardo Crespo (eds), Isaiah Berlin: la mirada despierta de la historia (Madrid, 1999: Tecnos), 309–23), but not yet in English, though a shortened version is due to appear in Insights in late 2002 under the title ‘Pluralism and Radical Tolerance’

Isaiah Berlin’s Four Essays on Liberty, ‘Speaking Volumes’ series, Times Higher Education Supplement, 21 November 1997, 21

Isaiah Berlin: A Personal Impression, originally Berlin’s obituary in the Independent, 7 November 1997; repr. in various places; trans. Spanish (Pablo Badillo O’Farrell and Enrique Bocardo Crespo (eds), Isaiah Berlin: la mirada despierta de la historia (Madrid, 1999: Tecnos), 19–28; trans. Una Pérez Ruiz, Letras Libres, December 2007, 46–50 [Spanish edition] / 64–8 [Mexican edition])

Confessions of an Editor, Australian Financial Review, 30 June 2000, Review section, 4–5

Isaiah Berlin’s Key Idea: first published as ‘Berlin’s Big Idea’, Philosophers’ Magazine 11 (Summer 2000), 15–16, then under its present title in Romulus (the magazine of Wolfson College, Oxford) NS 4 No 1 (Trinity 2000), 4–5; trans. Spanish as ‘Isaiah Berlin: le clave de su pensamiento’, Caja negra 1 No 1 (January–June 2001), 83–6

Thoughts of Taj Mahal will leave you as drunk as a fox [not my title!], review of Mark Lilla, Ronald Dworkin and Robert B. Silvers (eds), The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin (New York, 2001: New York Review of Books), Times Higher Education Supplement, 30 November 2001, 24–5

A Huge Unsorted Heap, Oxford Today 14 No 2 (Hilary Issue 2002), 51

A Deep Understanding, Jewish Chronicle, 26 March 2004, 35–6

An Open Letter to Isaiah Berlin, The Times Higher Education Supplement, 26 March 2004, 20–1

Isaiah Berlin’s Inner Citadel, inaugural lecture in Madrid, 28 January 2008, for ‘Isaiah Berlin: A Liberal in Perspective’, a conference held in Madrid and Barcelona, 28–9 January 2008, to mark the tenth anniversary of Berlin’s death; trans. Spanish as ‘La ciudadela interior de Isaiah Berlin’, Cuadernos de pensiamento político No 18 (April–June 2008), 71–85

Dear Isaiah, inaugural lecture in Barcelona, 29 January 2008, for ‘Isaiah Berlin: A Liberal in Perspective’, a conference held in Madrid and Barcelona, 28–9 January 2008, to mark the tenth anniversary of Berlin’s death; trans. Spanish as ‘Querido Isaiah’ in Mira Milosevich and Julio Crespo (eds), Isaiah Berlin: un liberal en perspectiva ([Madrid,] 2008: FAES), 61–91

Interview with Julio Crespo MacLennan (English original), 30 January 2008; El Impartial (abbreviated and adapted Spanish translation), 31 January 2008

Skeptical Isaiah Berlin (letter), New York Review of Books, 8 April 2010, 89–90

Keeping Hedgehog and Fox Together – But Telling Them Apart, Romulus (the magazine of Wolfson College, Oxford), 2014, 3–5


Work (once) in progress
This is a collection of shorter or longer fragments that I have written over a number of years, but which for one reason or another have never (yet) made it as, or into, completed pieces of writing. I make no great claims for these bits and pieces, but there may be one or two thoughts in them that others can make use of and develop; so I post them here in order that they may be available for this purpose.

What should we be and do?

Geography as a Guide to Value Pluralism

Miscellaneous fragments