Of hedgehogs and foxes

That ‘the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing’ credited to the 7th-century (B.C.) Greek poet Archilocus might have inspired Isaiah Berlin’s (1909-1997) famous 1953 essay titled ‘The Hedgehog and the Fox,1’ and continues to highlight the dichotomy that symbolizes our tendency to turn taxonomy into credo, as foxes or hedgehogs, is instructive. Berlin was an unrepentant pluralist at a time totalitarians and utopians ballyhooed a solitary truth. Yet, that extreme views of varied hues persist is hardly arguable as a pigeonholing mindset colors our imagination ever more profoundly exalting the issues that divide at the expense of those that unite humankind.

 

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