Lukes, Steven. “The Singular and the Plural: On the Distinctive Liberalism of Isaiah Berlin,” Social Research, 61: 687–718, 1994.
“Part of a special issue on the idea of liberalism and the liberal agenda. The writer analyzes the writings of Isaiah Berlin, who has written to great effect and purpose about the critics of liberalism’s Enlightenment project. The Enlightenment project has been described by John Gray as “the hope that human beings will shed their traditional allegiances and local identities and unite in a universal civilization grounded in generic humanity and a rational morality.” Berlin’s work, far from revealing the project to be anachronistic and doomed, has helped to determine the agenda for the Enlightenment project of contemporary liberalism. The ultimate challenge of Berlin’s thought is the development and defense of a pluralism of values that preserves the central message of the Enlightenment while strongly rejecting the nihilism and relativism of its previous and current detractors.”