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London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, Dust jacket: Browning to spine and slightly to edges of covers. Slight wear to ends of spine. Preserved in a removable jacket protector. Overall jacket condition is Very Good. Book: Second printing issued two months after the first impression.


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  4. Red cloth binding. Very slight browning to half title page from a newspaper review clipping, otherwise in excellent condition throughout. Overall book condition is Very Good Plus. International postage will be less than the stated rate. A postage refund will be made after the order has been placed. Size: 5 x 7. Printed pages: The Hedgehog and the Fox - an essay on Tolstoy's view of history. Berlin, Isaiah. Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

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    First edition.. VG, without dust jacket. Seller: Much Ado Books. Princeton University Press. Soft cover. Old owner's name to inside front and back covers.


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    Light toning to pages. Otherwise clean, tight and unmarked..

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    Used - Very Good. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear.

    Leo Tolstoy

    Used - Acceptable. Acceptable condition. Phoenix, The physical strength of a leader can only be effective on a small number of men, whereas moral power extends the leader's control to a larger group. Yet history offers many examples of weak and ineffectual leaders who still control the destinies of the men they lead.

    Having failed to reveal how the power of a commander is transmitted to his followers, and having failed to describe the nature of this power, Tolstoy adds another argument to discredit the concept of power — the factor of time. Since human beings, he begins, operate within time, and events change according to time; a command can only cover a specific time sequence. Moreover, the commander himself is always in the middle of an event as it unfolds and he can never control all aspects of the event. Tolstoy shows how, out of all the commands given to cover the various conditions of any event, only those that are possible to be carried out will be carried out.

    No command can produce an event that is not ready to be enacted. Historians who say that this or that decision caused this or that event to occur are mistaking cause and effect. Tolstoy uses an analogy to illustrate his statement. Consider some men who are about to drag off a log, he says, and each man offers an opinion as to where the log should go. They drag it away, and it turns out to end up where one of them had advised. This is the man, historians would say, who gave the command.

    War and Peace

    All the other commands and commanders are thus forgotten after the event has been enacted. With these analyses, Tolstoy concludes that"power" vested by the mass in one or a few persons, expressed through the followers of a commander, and operating within the constraints of time, can never serve to explain historical causality. Having thus discredited the various schools of historiography and pointing out the fallacy of general concepts like"power," Tolstoy examines human existence in relation to the forces of destiny.

    His previous arguments have considered external phenomena only and have overlooked the intrinsic quality of man's freedom of will. Tolstoy now comes to the crux of his argument, which remains an unresolved paradox: Freedom of will is as mythic a quality as that of power, but without this concept all human activities become meaningless. If men have free wills, history would be a series of unconnected incidents, says Tolstoy, who believes nevertheless in historical determinacy.

    But if we admit that even one man has the power to act freely, he argues, then we cannot formulate any law to explain the actions of men. By the same token, if one law controls the actions of men, then no one is free, all wills being subject to that law. Tolstoy attacks this problem by hypothesizing two views of man, an"inner" view and an"outer" view:"Looking at man as a subject of observation from any point of view — theological, ethical, philosophical — we find a general law of necessity to which he is subject like everything else existing.

    Looking at him from within ourselves, as what we are conscious of, we feel ourselves free. Despite our"reason," which accepts the scientific proofs that we are subject to naturalistic constraints as other creatures are, our"consciousness" senses freedom. Without this"meaningless feeling of freedom" life would be insupportable.

    The Hedgehog and the Fox - Berlin Isaiah - чтение книги бесплатно

    All the concepts of our existence express this instinct for freedom, Tolstoy says: the notions of wealth and poverty, hunger and repletion, health and disease, are only terms for greater or lesser degrees of freedom. Our sense of free will can never be reconciled with the immutable laws of necessity; at best, we conclude that men and animals share nervous and muscular activity, but man has, in addition, consciousness. History does not differentiate between free will and necessity. Rather, it relates how free will has manifested itself in the past and under what conditions it has operated.

    History is"our representation" of the action of free will, and we regard every event as a proportionate combination of free will with necessity. The more we know of the circumstances under which an act was performed, the less free the act seems. When a period of time has elapsed, allowing us to see more consequences of a particular act and its relation to previous acts, we see more and more necessities that determine the nature of the act.