The Roots of Romanticism

The Roots of Romanticism

Isaiah Berlin / Feb 19, 2020

The Roots of Romanticism The Roots of Romanticism at last makes available in printed form Isaiah Berlin s most celebrated lecture series the Mellon lectures delivered in Washington in recorded by the BBC and broadcas

  • Title: The Roots of Romanticism
  • Author: Isaiah Berlin
  • ISBN: 9780691156200
  • Page: 419
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Roots of Romanticism at last makes available in printed form Isaiah Berlin s most celebrated lecture series, the Mellon lectures, delivered in Washington in 1965, recorded by the BBC, and broadcast several times A published version has been keenly awaited ever since the lectures were given, and Berlin had always hoped to complete a book based on them But despite ex The Roots of Romanticism at last makes available in printed form Isaiah Berlin s most celebrated lecture series, the Mellon lectures, delivered in Washington in 1965, recorded by the BBC, and broadcast several times A published version has been keenly awaited ever since the lectures were given, and Berlin had always hoped to complete a book based on them But despite extensive further work this hope was not fulfilled, and the present volume is an edited transcript of his spoken words.For Berlin, the Romantics set in motion a vast, unparalleled revolution in humanity s view of itself They destroyed the traditional notions of objective truth and validity in ethics with incalculable, all pervasive results As he said of the Romantics elsewhere The world has never been the same since, and our politics and morals have been deeply transformed by them Certainly this has been the most radical, and indeed dramatic, not to say terrifying, change in men s outlook in modern times In these brilliant lectures Berlin surveys the myriad attempts to define Romanticism, distills its essence, traces its developments from its first stirrings to its apotheosis, and shows how its lasting legacy permeates our own outlook Combining the freshness and immediacy of the spoken word with Berlin s inimitable eloquence and wit, the lectures range over a cast of the greatest thinkers and artists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including Kant, Rousseau, Diderot, Schiller, Schlegel, Novalis, Goethe, Blake, Byron, and Beethoven Berlin argues that the ideas and attitudes held by these and other figures helped to shape twentieth century nationalism, existentialism, democracy, totalitarianism,and our ideas about heroic individuals, individual self fulfillment, and the exalted place of art This is the record of an intellectual bravura performance of one of the century s most influential philosophers dissecting and assessing a movement that changed the course of history.

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    About "Isaiah Berlin"

      • Isaiah Berlin

        Sir Isaiah Berlin was a philosopher and historian of ideas, regarded as one of the leading liberal thinkers of the twentieth century He excelled as an essayist, lecturer and conversationalist and as a brilliant speaker who delivered, rapidly and spontaneously, richly allusive and coherently structured material, whether for a lecture series at Oxford University or as a broadcaster on the BBC Third Programme, usually without a script Many of his essays and lectures were later collected in book form.Born in Riga, now capital of Latvia, then part of the Russian Empire, he was the first person of Jewish descent to be elected to a prize fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford From 1957 to 1967, he was Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at the University of Oxford He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1963 to 1964 In 1966, he helped to found Wolfson College, Oxford, and became its first President He was knighted in 1957, and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1971 He was President of the British Academy from 1974 to 1978 He also received the 1979 Jerusalem Prize for his writings on individual freedom Berlin s work on liberal theory has had a lasting influence.Berlin is best known for his essay Two Concepts of Liberty, delivered in 1958 as his inaugural lecture as Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford He defined negative liberty as the absence of constraints on, or interference with, agents possible action Greater negative freedom meant fewer restrictions on possible action Berlin associated positive liberty with the idea of self mastery, or the capacity to determine oneself, to be in control of one s destiny While Berlin granted that both concepts of liberty represent valid human ideals, as a matter of history the positive concept of liberty has proven particularly susceptible to political abuse.Berlin contended that under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant and G W F Hegel all committed to the positive concept of liberty , European political thinkers often equated liberty with forms of political discipline or constraint This became politically dangerous when notions of positive liberty were, in the nineteenth century, used to defend nationalism, self determination and the Communist idea of collective rational control over human destiny Berlin argued that, following this line of thought, demands for freedom paradoxically become demands for forms of collective control and discipline those deemed necessary for the self mastery or self determination of nations, classes, democratic communities, and even humanity as a whole There is thus an elective affinity, for Berlin, between positive liberty and political totalitarianism.Conversely, negative liberty represents a different, perhaps safer, understanding of the concept of liberty Its proponents such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill insisted that constraint and discipline were the antithesis of liberty and so were and are less prone to confusing liberty and constraint in the manner of the philosophical harbingers of modern totalitarianism It is this concept of Negative Liberty that Isaiah Berlin supported It dominated heavily his early chapters in his third lecture.This negative liberty is central to the claim for toleration due to incommensurability This concept is mirrored in the work of Joseph Raz.Berlin s espousal of negative liberty, his hatred of totalitarianism and his experience of Russia in the revolution and through his contact with the poet Anna Akhmatova made him an enemy of the Soviet Union and he was one of the leading public intellectuals in the ideological battle against Communism during the Cold War.


    1. The Roots of Romanticism, Isaiah BerlinThe Roots of Romanticism is the long-awaited text of Isaiah Berlin's most celebrated set of lectures, the Mellon Lectures, delivered in Washington in 1965 and heard since by a much wider audience on BBC radio. For Berli, the Romantics set in train a vast, unparalleled revolution in humanity's view of itself. They destroyed the traditional notion of objective truth in ethicsm with incalculable, all-pervasive results. In his unscripted tour de force Berlin su [...]

    2. Perhaps the singularly most impressive thing about this superb book is that the Mellon Lectures upon which they are based were delivered, for the most part, extemporaneously—a fact exceedingly difficult to comprehend when the breadth and depth of the material delivered to what was doubtless an enraptured audience is taken into consideration. In the introduction, Berlin advocate John Gray accedes that the latter herein is making a large claim, possibly exaggerated about the encompassing nature [...]

    3. باید روراست بود. کتاب افسارگسیخته تر از اونه که بتونه برای کسی که تازه می خواد در مورد رومانتیسم مطلبی بخونه مفید باشه. خود برلین هم در طول حیاتش اجازه ی چاپ این کتاب رو نداده بود. اون هم به یه دلیل. کتاب متن پیاده شده سخنرانی های برلین بوده و هنوز کار داشته تا تبدیل به کتاب بشهکت [...]

    4. Isaiah Berlin is probably still the world's most famous historian of ideas, and made his mark in history with his 'two concepts of freedom', as well as by retrieving, for the benefit of lay and academic audience alike, what is now called the 'counter-enlightenment'. After his retirement, we are told by Henry Hardy, the editor of the present book, he was planning on writing a large book on the closely related subject of romanticism, but passed before the project came to fruition. The present volu [...]

    5. A few thoughts:A great read if you're at all familiar with the figures discussed (18th and early 19th century philosophy types). If not, I imagine it might be hard to follow. I bet it would make an ideal teaching tool, though--as an accompaniment to a reading of the primary texts of the period. For example,"Professor, WTF is Fichte and/or Schelling trying to say?""If you'd like further explanation, read Berlin's *Roots of Romanticism*, page X for next week."--Next week--"Oh, okay. That makes a l [...]

    6. بعد نهاية كل كتاب أقرأه، أقوم بكتابة عبارة فيها أعبّر عن مُجمل الكتاب بصورة عامة، كأنها إطارًا تدور فكرة الكِتاب في فلكها. هذه المرة، مع "إشعيا برلين" في كتابه هذا: "جذور الرومانتيكية"، لم أجد عبارة مثل عبارة "تشوميسكي" لتحيط لا بالحركة الرومانتيكية وحدها، بل الوريث الفلسفي ال [...]

    7. Historian and philosopher Isaiah Berlin traces what one might regard as a more traditional account of the development of Romanticism in Europe, connecting the movement with a series of important developments in European history and literature, such as the French Revolution and the writings of Goethe. Berlin does not take on the task of offering a precise definition of Romanticism; he instead circumscribes the movement within a more general trend of philosophical, political, and economic discours [...]

    8. يناقش هذا الكتاب الحركة الثورية الأكثر تغييرًا للوعي الغربي منذ عصر التنوير؛ الحركة الرومانتيكية. جاءت هذه الحركة احتجاجًا ضد كل القوانين السابقة، إذ سعت لرفض السلطة بكافة أشكالها، ودعت لحرية الفرد قبل المجتمع ولحرية الفكر قبل الرأي. لقد جاءت هذه الحركة كثورة كاملة وشاملة [...]

    9. یکی از بزرگترین تحولات در غرب، دوره رومانتیسم است.تحولی که نتایج و پیامدهای گسترده‌ای در حوزه‌ی علم، فلسفه،هنر و روانشناسی به همراه داشته است. آیزایا برلین با توجه به این دستاوردهای مهم در غرب به ریشه و مبنای فکری خاصه آراء و اندیشه‌های اندیشمندانی چون فیشته، کانت، هِردِر، [...]

    10. O livro é bom, mas certamente poderia ser melhor organizado. Acredito que o último capítulo deveria ser um dos primeiros, ou seja: deveria partir dos frutos para as raízes, porém, isso é apenas a opinião de um rapaz. O Romantismo é um acontecimento interessantíssimo pois, como mostra o livro, tem duas características completamente distintas: o primitivismo e o dandismo. Além disso, o mesmo movimento que centraria-se na pessoa, algo que certamente é um dos pecados da modernidade (a fi [...]

    11. سرانجام بعد از مدت ها این کتاب را خواندم - صد صفحه اش را خواندم بعد مدت ها فاصله افتاد، بعد دوباره مقداری را خواندم، بعد فاصله افتاد، تا اینکه سرانجام خواندمش! کتاب اثری است خواندنی.زاویه ی نگاه برلین به رومانتیسم قابل تأمل است. از نظر او رومانتیسم از حیث اجتماعی زائیده ی فقر و [...]

    12. "Il risultato del Romanticismo è dunque il liberalismo, la tolleranza, la decenza e la consapevolezza delle proprie imperfezioni della vita; in una certa misura, un accrescimento dell'autocomprensione razionale."

    13. المحتوى غني وأسلوب ايزايا برلين ممتع جداً، إلا أن صورة الرومنتيكية ما زالت غير واضحة حتى مع محاولات برلين. ومع ذلك الكتاب كان رائع في إستعراض أفكار الفلاسفة والأدباء الذين انتقدوا الرومانتيكية وقارنوها بالكلاسيكية حتى وصل إلى الفلاسفة والأدباء المتطرفين فيها. يستحق القراء [...]

    14.     Romanticism is portrayed as an aesthetic movement in literature, painting, music, architecture, criticism, and historiography. Nineteenth-century romanticism was characterised by the avoidance of classical forms and rules, it can also be seen as the rejection of  precepts of order, harmony, balance, and rationality that epitomised neoclassicism; it was to some extent a reaction against the Enlightenment, rationalism, and physical materialism. Romanticism emphasised the individual, the s [...]

    15. hard to write anything disparaging about that which is written so amazingly well (they were lectures unintended for publication), but Raymond Williams does a much better job situating Romanticism. everything seems to add up to value pluralism with berlin, and his history of ideas approach is bound to limit the scope of his conclusions the romantics held the unwashed masses in contempt, a point which berlin misses; they also more than often dreaded the forms of modern political protest which advo [...]

    16. No suelo comentar los libros sobre ciencias sociales o pólitica que leo, pero en este caso creo que vale la pena para que quien se acerque a ver referencias de este libro, no dude en tomarlo. Isaiah Berlin es un gran pensador liberal del siglo XX, pero que no sea un impedimento para el que no sea liberal (yo me considero marxista) acercarse a este libro, y autor. Berlin, con su gran conocimiento y buena escritura, nos introduce al movimiento romantico de una manera muy simple, más no sencilla. [...]

    17. this is the clearest, most straightforward exposition of Romanticism that I have encountered. I'm sure that some would say that it is over simplified, but Berlin's willingness to strip things down to what he considers the essentials was very helpful for me. I feel much better prepared to read fuller treatments of the many authors he discusses. The fact that he also puts the romantic movement of the early nineteenth century in historical perspective [a German movement reacting to the French Revol [...]

    18. كتاب جميل جدا جدا، والمترجمة استطاعت أن تنقل شفافية الأسلوب المحاضراتي للكاتب الذي ظل يشوقنا بالتنقل بين فكرة وأخرى دون كلل، ورغم التكرار لكنني لم أملّ، بل وجدتها فائدة لتعزيز الفكرة.يتعرض "برلن"، وهو المتخصص في تاريخ الأفكار، لنشأة الرومانتيكية ويرى أنها وليدة ألمانيا الم [...]

    19. الكتاب جميل جداً و يستحق القراءة. قام بترجمة الكتاب سعود السويدا، و وفق في ذلك. يقع الكتاب في سته فصول شيقة، ما عدا الفصل الاخير الممل. صفحات الكتاب تحتوى على كمية معلومات عن الحركة جديرة بالمعرفة. تركيز الكتاب كان على الجانب الفلسفي - الديني الألماني للحركة فقط. لذلك، هو يتجا [...]

    20. Berlin’s 1965 Mellon Lectures provide what is possibly the best introduction to the origins of philosophical Romanticism in late 18th-century Germany. Think Herder, Fichte, Schiller, etc. His introductory lecture also provides a fine summary overview of the late Enlightenment, against which the Romantics rebelled. My only caveat: While Berlin is often quite engaging, don’t attempt to read the middle lectures collected here while feeling sleepy and riding a commuter train.

    21. Herein reproduced is the series of Mellon Lectures, delivered unscripted in Washington DC in 1965, in which Isaiah Berlin successfully reconciles the noble savage with Parisian poets leading lobsters around on strings thereby creating a convincing definition of the Romantic Movement.

    22. This book is the transcript of a lecture series of Isaiah Berlin on the roots of that intellectual movement we know as Romanticism. Despite being a transcript of spoken word, it reads well as an essay, testifying to the intellectual and communicative power of Berlin.Some years ago I read Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy and I remember he criticized severely Romanticism as an irrational movement responsible in part for ideas that would develop into fascism. Berlin, however, has a [...]

    23. Las Raíces del Romanticismo Es una exploración crítica magistral de un tiempo histórico q hará llevar al comportamiento de la gentes y a su percepción del hombre en sociedad, como un ser noble y bueno por naturaleza. Es un modo emocional y distinto de reaccionar frente a la imposición racional del iluminismo proyectada hacia la estética, las artes, la moral y a la comprensión del hombre en sociedad .

    24. کتاب روان نوشته شده اما اساسا کتاب نیست. متنِ نگاشته‌شده‌ی مجموعه سخنرانی‌هاییست که کمی افسارگسیخته‌اند، گاه سر به ناکجا می‌برند و فاقد انسجام لازمند. برلین سعی می‌کند با برشمردن ویژگی‌های عصر روشنگری، کاستی‌های آن را که منجر به ایجاد چنین گسستی شدند برشمارد و زمینه‌ه [...]

    25. A fascinating introduction with a very accurate comprehension, but dear lord, what a boring ending! I feel bad for accusing the liberals being soft and nice — sometimes, quite unfortunately, these can be vices and errs.

    26. ظريف للغاية. مجموعة محاضرات سهلة الأسلوب واضحة المعاني لما فيها من تكرار وإلحاح يستلزمه الإلقاء الشفهي. بيجوفتش كان على بالي طوال الكتاب تقريبًا؛ فكثير مما أشار إليه في كتابه الإسلام بين الشرق والغرب يرجع بجذوره إلى الرومانتيكية كما يعرضها برلين هنا

    27. Berlin belongs to the tradition of those European thinkers whose main intellectual endeavour was scathingly directed against the eighteenth century European movement known as the enlightenment. He is well aware of the fact that the enlightenment was not a uniformed and monolithic movement but rather comprised of such disparate figures such as Voltaire, Diderot, Fontenelle, La Mettrie and even the disgruntled Rousseau. Nonetheless the movement , in his view, boils down to these three core intelle [...]

    28. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Though, from what I have read of his political views, I disagree with them, but in this works he does a great job of exploring the roots of romantic thought in Western Civilization. Romanticism can be thought of as what rests on the opposite end of enlightenment. It does not require, knoledge or intellect as such, but a passionate commitment to what one feels their purpose in life is. The enlightenment brought with it the notion that everyhting could be an [...]

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