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Between Friedrich Meinecke and Ernst Cassirer: Isaiah Berlin's Bifurcated Enlightenment

Lifschitz, AS; (2016) Between Friedrich Meinecke and Ernst Cassirer: Isaiah Berlin's Bifurcated Enlightenment. In: Brockliss, L and Robertson, R, (eds.) Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment. (pp. 51-66). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

This essay explores the hitherto neglected influence of Friedrich Meinecke on Isaiah Berlin’s distinction between a mostly French Enlightenment and its alleged rivals in Germany. Highlighting the structural and terminological similarities between Berlin’s account of the Counter-Enlightenment and Meinecke’s description of the precursors of historicism, it also provides as yet unpublished evidence from Berlin’s correspondence to this effect. Berlin’s endorsement of Meinecke’s dichotomy between Enlightenment and pre-historicism is situated against his distaste for attempts to reveal cross-currents and common themes across borders in eighteenth-century thought. This aversion to the study of transnational links in the Enlightenment is manifest in Berlin’s hostile reaction to Ernst Cassirer’s work on the topic.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Between Friedrich Meinecke and Ernst Cassirer: Isaiah Berlin's Bifurcated Enlightenment
ISBN-13: 9780198783930
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/isaiah-ber...
Language: English
Additional information: This is a draft of a chapter that has been accepted for publication by Oxford University Press in the forthcoming book Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment edited by Laurence Brockliss and Ritchie Robertson, due for publication in 2016.
Keywords: Isaiah Berlin, Friedrich Meinecke, Ernst Cassirer, Enlightenment, Counter-Enlightenment, Intellectual history
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1496462
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