Of Foxes and Hedgehogs
Berlin posits that there are two kinds of personalities out there. First, there are hedgehogs, who basically believe that there is a unifying theme, or system which governs how the world works. They spend their lifetime trying to figure out this system, and if they think they have figured it out, they will attempt to mold reality to fit their understanding of how the system is supposed to work. Foxes, on the other hand, realize that the system is perhaps too complex to figure out, or perhaps the rules are constantly changing, and so reality, rather than pre-conceived notions tends to provide the feedback they need to steer themselves in life.
I definitely identify with the foxes. And frankly I dis-trust the hedgehog. This is especially true of the fields of politics and economics. Lately, I've been trying to understand the philosophical works of Karl Popper. One of his ideas that I really identify with is the critique of the ideological movements such as fascism and communism, and all the other -isms which is argued very eloquently in his work "The Poverty of Historicism". This is really a more specific case of his general argument that providing positive evidence that prove your theory is not a way to prove its validity. But to me, these are the most poignant examples, remembering the millions of people who were killed to justify the reasoning of some loathsome hedgehog.