But his scholarship was not confined to Greek philosophy . In 1938 Taylor published in Philosophy , 13, 406–24, a landmark article, The Ethical Doctrine of Hobbes . This argues that 'Hobbes's ethical theory is logically independent of the egoistic psychology and is a strict deontology ' (Stuart Brown, 'The Taylor Thesis', Hobbes Studies, ed. K. Thomas, Oxford : Blackwell, 1965 : 31). (The text of Taylor's article is reprinted in the same volume.) The deontological angle was developed, though with divergencies from Taylor's argument, by Howard Warrender in The Political Philosophy of Hobbes , Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1957.
In this book, Sister Helen Prejean describes, how two of the five convicts whom she
accompanies till their death, were really innocent, and yet were executed. Juries
having been blocked from significant evidence, defense lawyers being incompetent,
there were many such technical reasons for this miscarriage of justice. The relevance
of death penalty comes into serious doubt in the backdrop of such cases. Many
innocents may die as victims of human error and incompetence.
This book deserves careful study, to reach a humane conclusion in the debate over
Against this, Berlin urged humanity to seek a decent society with pluralistic values, thus eschewing utopian perfectionism. This he thought to be characterised by a fallibilistic conception of knowledge, peaceful trade-offs, and the rejection of nihilism and relativism in favour of common values across genuinely diverse ways of life. Such a society would, he held, resolve to maintain a pluralistic balance of values against any and all attempts to sacrifice entire groups of people in the name of a future that can never be fully predicted.