The Steeple Times examines Archilochus’ concept of ‘foxes’ and ‘hedgehogs and applies such to modern day personalities
According to the Greek poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing.” Isaiah Berlin explored this premise in greater detail in his 1953 essay The Hedgehog and the Fox and identified ‘hedgehogs’ as those that “view the world through the lens of a single defining idea” and ‘foxes’ as those that “draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea.”
Berlin’s examples of ‘hedgehogs’ numbered Friedrich Nietzsche, Henrik Ibsen and Marcel Proust whilst for ‘foxes’ he chose such individuals as James Joyce, Aleksandr Pushkin and William Shakespeare.
Here, below, we apply the same analysis and chose fifteen modern day figures that are representative of each characteristic and curiously reveal a ‘third way’ that for once isn’t connected to Tony Blair: ‘The Neither Nors’ that sadly dominate our society.
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