Mark Lilla is Professor of the Humanities at Columbia and author of The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics. His article in the April 25, 2013 issue will appear as the introduction to Against the Current by Isaiah Berlin, to be published in a new edition by Princeton University Press in May 2013.
How can intellectuals, who should be alert to the evils of tyranny, betray the ideals of freedom and independent inquiry? How can they take positions that, implicitly or not, endorse oppression and human suffering on a vast scale?
The papers given at the New York Institute for the Humanities conference collected in this volume concentrate on three aspects of Berlin’s concept of pluralism.