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Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment$
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Laurence Brockliss and Ritchie Robertson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783930

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783930.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 September 2021

Between Friedrich Meinecke and Ernst Cassirer

Between Friedrich Meinecke and Ernst Cassirer

Isaiah Berlin’s Bifurcated Enlightenment

(p.51) 3 Between Friedrich Meinecke and Ernst Cassirer
Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment

Avi Lifschitz

Oxford University Press

This chapter 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of the Counter-Enlightenment and Meinecke’s description of the precursors of historicism, it also provides as yet unpublished evidence from Berlin’s correspondence to this effect.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 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.

Keywords:   Meinecke, Hegel, Deutsche Bewegung, historicism, Cassirer

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