Ignatieff speaks with Isaiah Berlin

Listening to this interview one must surely reevaluate one’s impression of Berlin (I did view this program back in the day but it left me unmoved). Was Oakeshott being scathing (as is often assumed) in describing Berlin as “a Paganini of ideas” (though Oakeshott had a deeply acerbic and brutally cutting streak to him, I’m not sure this works as a put-down). Berlin achieved more in his short technical philosophical career more than most do these days over the course of 20 years – and he was unmistakably a genuine liberal. But he was also a man of action during the War albeit in DC while Oakeshott was in Phantom. But different horses for different courses. Both were outsiders and though Berlin was considered by some to be the ultimate establishment intellectual, this program makes it very clear that he was always the outsider.