Hedgehogs and Foxes collects and integrates information and techniques that lend themselves to the interdisciplinary study of law and the humanities, including literature, film, television, art, music, drama, history, and disciplines. “Law and” studies and courses require some organization and philosophical foundation if they are to continue to grow and gain in credibility. In addition to resources, we provide research tips, teaching materials, interactive materials, interviews, essays, research articles, news, book reviews, poetry, art, and other original publications of interest to scholars in the area.
Sir Isaiah Berlin’s well-known essay The Hedgehog and the Fox inspired the name of this website. In his work, published by Weidenfield and Nicholson in 1953, Berlin divides thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs, who know one big thing (or interpret the world according to one big idea), and foxes, who know many little things (or interpret the world according to many ideas). Where does he get these categories? From the 7th century Greek poet philosopher Archilochus, who wrote “ a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing.” Erasmus, the Renaissance philosopher, translated Archilochus’ words as “Multa novit vulpes, verum echinus unum magnum” (“The fox knows many things; the hedgehog knows one big thing”, Adagia, 1500). One can approach the study of law and the humanities as “one big thing,” one overarching area of study or theme. For example, one could search for law and justice throughout all the representations of the humanities, as some leading scholars have done. Or one could select smaller themes within the universe of law and the humanities, which are no less important, no less illustrative, and no less illuminating. Equally, one can approach the study of law and the humanities as a method of shedding light on the meaning of law and society. Or one can use the humanities as a means of teaching law more effectively and leave it at that. We invite those with an interest in these areas to join in the hunt.