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Futures of History Seminar at St Mary's

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Futures of History Seminar at St Mary's

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Berlin's Invisible Omelettes: Human Nature and the Before Now

Where: St Mary's University, Twickenham, Senior Common Room When: Thursday 12th March, 2015, 2pm Speaker: Stephen Rainey Contact: For more information please contact claire.norton@stmarys.ac.uk or mark.donnelly@stmarys.ac.uk Abstract: Isaiah Berlin champions a sort of humanism inspired by Tolstoy to replace a C17th view of human nature. This comes through in his analysis of Giambattista Vico and Johann Gottfried von Herder. This analysis presents us with a way of looking at history in an unsettled, value-laden and contestable way. Whilst Berlin might be right about this view of history, it isn't clear that his argument supports his conclusion. Specifically, it looks like Berlin remakes the mistakes of C17th thinkers like Descartes and posits a sort of human nature to underwrite his interpretive, postmodern history.

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