Isaiah Berlin once tried to divide all thinkers into two categories. In so doing, Berlin quoted a Greek poet by the name of Archilochus. Archilochus wrote, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”. By this Berlin was trying to say that all thinkers could be understood in terms of being placed in one of two categories: those who saw the world through a single defining idea (Plato, Pascal, Hegel) and those who drew on a wide variety of experiences, and did not see the world in terms of one overriding single idea (Aristotle, Shakespeare, Balzac). However, in understanding Tolstoy’s view of history as expressed in “War and Peace”, Berlin asserts that Tolstoy is by his very nature a fox; but, a hedgehog by his convictions.
Last night I watched a movie entitled, “Animal Odd Couples”. There was a woman in the movie whose life had been changed forever by taking in and caring for animals who had been injured in some way. She had a very old horse who was blind, and she was considering putting the horse down; but, she had an idea of something that might work. She put a goat in the paddock with the horse. The goat and the blind horse bonded and the goat would lead the horse wherever he needed to go. Everything worked out great for the horse, as well as for the goat. Her idea sprang from the simple reality that no one knew her animals better than her.
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