Mill was raised in the tradition of Philosophical Radicalism, made famous by Jeremy Bentham —John Austin —and his father James Mill —which applied utilitarian principles in a self-conscious and systematic way to issues of institutional design and social reform.
Origins[ edit ] The title is a reference to a fragment attributed to the Ancient Greek poet Archilochus: In Erasmus 's Adagia fromthe expression is recorded as Multa novit vulpes, verum echinus unum magnum. The fable of The Fox and the Cat embodies the same idea.
Berlin expands upon this idea to divide writers and thinkers into two categories: Turning to TolstoyBerlin contends that at first glance, Tolstoy escapes definition into one of the two groups.
He postulates that while Tolstoy's talents are those of a fox, his beliefs are that one ought to be a hedgehog and so Tolstoy's own voluminous assessments of his own work are misleading. Berlin goes on to use this idea of Tolstoy as a basis for an analysis of the theory of history that Tolstoy presents in his novel War and Peace.
In the latter half of the essay, Berlin illuminates Tolstoy by an extended comparison between him and the early 19th-century thinker Joseph de Maistrea comparison that gains in piquancy because while Tolstoy and de Maistre held violently contrasting views on more superficial matters, they held some profoundly similar views about the fundamental nature of existence and the limits of a rational, scientific approach to it.
In the final few paragraphs of the essay, Berlin reasserts his thesis that Tolstoy was by nature a fox but by conviction a hedgehog and goes on to say that the division within himself caused him great pain at the end of his life. The essay has been published separately and as part of the collection Russian Thinkers, edited by Henry Hardy and Aileen Kelly.
The essay also appears in a widely-representative anthology of Berlin's essays, The Proper Study of Mankind. Influence[ edit ] Some authors Michael Walzerfor example have used the same pattern of description for Berlin himself, as a person who knows many things, compared to the purported narrowness of many other contemporary political philosophers.
Berlin's former student, Canadian philosopher Charles Taylorhas been dubbed a hedgehog by Berlin and readily admitted to it in an interview after receiving the Templeton Prize. Tetlocka political psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvaniadrew heavily on this distinction in his exploration of the accuracy of experts and forecasters in various fields especially politics in his book Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It?
How Can We Know?. The historian Joseph Ellisin his Founding Brothers about key figures of the American Revolution, uses Berlin's "Hedgehog and Fox" concept in evaluating George Washingtonnoting that "Washington was an archetypal hedgehog.
And the one big thing he knew was that America's future as a nation lay to the West, in its development over the next century of a continental empire," which was one of the reasons, according to Ellis, of Washington being devoted to construction of canals. Collins refers to the story in his book Good to Great where he clearly shows his preference towards Hedgehog mentality.
The artist Richard Serra referenced the name in the title of his sculpture installed at Princeton University campus in Music historian Berthold Hoeckner applies and extends Berlin's distinction in his essay "Wagner and the Origin of Evil.
He cites the work of Philip E.John Rawls; Born: John Bordley Rawls February 21, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.: Died: November 24, (aged 81) Lexington, Massachusetts, U.S.: Alma mater. Although he completed a philosophical education at Oxford, John Locke declined the offer of a permanent academic position in order to avoid committing himself to a religious order.
Adam Smith developed a comprehensive and unusual version of moral sentimentalism in his Theory of Moral Sentiments (, TMS).
He did not expressly lay out a political philosophy in similar detail, but a distinctive set of views on politics can be extrapolated from elements of both TMS and his Wealth of Nations (, WN); student notes from .
Yet a major part of this definitive collection, the Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary (a volume of near pages, covering three decades of Hume’s career as a philosopher) has been largely ignored.
The volume has rarely been in print, and the last critical edition was published in Yet a major part of this definitive collection, the Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary (a volume of near pages, covering three decades of Hume's career as a philosopher) has been largely ignored.
The volume has rarely been in print, and the last critical edition was published in Reviews: Social and Political Philosophy Philosophy Fall Term Paper Assignment Due: Wednesday, civil and moral law, and if so, to which does the individual owe his allegiance?
How might Thoreau’s essay On Civil Disobedience be read as a response to the arguments Socrates gives in the Crito regarding our obligation to obey the laws .