View Full Version : Is Tyburn a Fox or a Hedgehog?

Play The Man
12-16-2009, 10:08 PM
"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing" -- Archilochus

Philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote an essay about Tolstoy based upon the fragment of Archilochus, above.

There is a line among the fragments of the Greek poet Archilochus
which says: ‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog
knows one big thing.’ Scholars have differed about the correct
interpretation of these dark words, which may mean no more than
that the fox, for all his cunning, is defeated by the hedgehog’s one
defence. But, taken figuratively, the words can be made to yield a
sense in which they mark one of the deepest differences which
divide writers and thinkers, and, it may be, human beings in
general. For there exists a great chasm between those, on one side,
who relate everything to a single central vision, one system, less or
more coherent or articulate, in terms of which they understand,
think and feel – a single, universal, organising principle in terms of
which alone all that they are and say has significance – and, on the
other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even
contradictory, connected, if at all, only in some de facto way, for
some psychological or physiological cause, related to no moral or
aesthetic principle. These last lead lives, perform acts and entertain
ideas that are centrifugal rather than centripetal; their thought is
scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of experiences and objects for what they
are in themselves, without, consciously or unconsciously, seeking
to fit them into, or exclude them from, any one unchanging, all embracing,
sometimes self-contradictory and incomplete, at times
fanatical, unitary inner vision. The first kind of intellectual and
artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the
foxes; and without insisting on a rigid classification, we may,
without too much fear of contradiction, say that, in this sense,
Dante belongs to the first category, Shakespeare to the second;
Plato, Lucretius, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen,
Proust are, in varying degrees, hedgehogs; Herodotus, Aristotle,
Montaigne, Erasmus, Molie`re, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzac, Joyce are

Berlin had difficulty classifying Tolstoy. He thought he had the talents of a fox but the worldview of a hedgehog.

I'm being serious, in your opinion, is Tyburn a fox or a hedgehog or is he a rare Tolstoyian hybrid?

12-16-2009, 10:39 PM
:laugh: I'll wait for others to answer before I tackle this taxonomy :ninja:

12-16-2009, 11:43 PM
neither he is a Chicken

12-17-2009, 02:49 AM
Dave is a hedgehog. The one thing he knows: Jens. Everything else is an off-shoot of his love for Jens. It can all be traced back there.

(I, on the other hand am just a fly. I sit on the wall & look for easy targets to leech off of :laugh:)

12-17-2009, 02:54 AM
Is Tyburn a Fox or a Hedgehog?[

Doesn't matter... Mark Hughes will shoot either.. and Mark Hughes won't miss you!

Play The Man
12-17-2009, 05:20 AM
Is Tyburn a Fox or a Hedgehog?[

Doesn't matter... Mark Hughes will shoot either.. and Mark Hughes won't miss you!

The NRA's new slogan: "Guns don't kill people . . . Mark Hughes kills people."

12-17-2009, 06:17 AM
Well, I have no opinion if he is a fox or a hedgehog but your question immediately made me think of a favorite movie, Husbands and Wives. During a certain scene, Judy Davis starts to wonder if people are foxes or hedgehogs...


12-17-2009, 06:18 AM
I've only ever been to 2 movies where people applauded at the end, Husbands & Wives and The Big Chill.

12-18-2009, 04:32 PM
Definately a Hedgehog.

When I think "DAVE" I think 'Hedgehog."

12-23-2009, 10:56 PM
I'm probably a hodgeheg :laugh:

Play The Man
12-23-2009, 11:14 PM

Miss Foxy
12-23-2009, 11:24 PM
He is the dang Hedgehog for I am the fox...:laugh:

12-23-2009, 11:29 PM

Hodgeheg :)