chapter  4
41 Pages

Pluralism and Positive Freedom: Towards a Critique of Isaiah Berlin

This extract, taken from the dustcover to John Gray’s Isaiah Berlin (1996) accurately describes Berlin’s infl uence as an academic and thinker not only within the academic discipline of political studies but more broadly within British political discourse. Whether academic political scientist or politician, Berlin’s work is now seen as constituting a classic statement within the western liberal political culture. In this chapter I want to subject two major ideas he advances-concerning pluralism and positive freedom-to critical scrutiny. While not completely disagreeing with Berlin, I will seek a major modifi cation to his views.