Isaiah Berlin

From Powerbase
Revision as of 09:14, 30 November 2022 by David (talk | contribs) (Affiliations)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) was a British philosopher and historian of ideas.[1]

Early Life

Berlin was born 1909 to Russian-speaking Jewish parents in Riga, Latvia, where his father ran a timber business. In 1915 the family moved to Andreopol in Russia, and then to Petrograd where he witnessed the February and October revolutions. The family returned to Latvia in 1920, before moving to England in 1921.[1]

Berlin was educated at St Paul's School and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he gained Firsts in Greats and Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 1931 and 1932.[1]

Pre-war Oxford

Richard Crossman gave Berlin his first job as a philosophy lecturer at Corpus Christi College. He was elected to a fellowship at All Souls College, which ran until 1938, when he became a fellow of New College.[1]

Second World War

In 1941, Berlin was sent to new York by the Ministry of Information. From 1942 to 1946, he worked for the Foreign Office in Washington, reporting on US politics.[1]


In 1950, Berlin returned to All Souls, where in 1957 he was elected to the Chichele chair of Social and Political Theory.[1]

Berlin served as the first president of Wolfson College from 1966 to 1975. He played a central role in the creation of the College, obtaining funds from the Wolfson and Ford Foundations.[1]

Affiliations, External Resources


External Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Henry Hardy, Obituary: Sir Isaiah Berlin, Independent, 7 November 1997.