“Berlin on the Compatibility of Values, Ideals, and “Ends.’”

MacCallum, Gerald C. “Berlin on the Compatibility of Values, Ideals, and “Ends.’” Ethics, 77: 139–45, 1967.  


“THE above passage in Berlin’s inaugural
lecture launches an attack on what
might be called the “compatibility conviction,”
one version of which is provided in
the last sentence quoted. Berlin has attacked
this conviction or something like it
elsewhere also.2 He charges that it3 is both
demonstrably false (p. 54) and malignant
in its effects. Concerning the latter, he
claims that holding the conviction leads to
(i) devaluation of the permanent importance
of freedom of choice (pp. 53-54),
(ii) support of ruthless tyranny (p. 54),
and (iii) obscuration of the multiplicity
and diversity of human values and ideals
(pp. 56-57 et passim).4 “