Cloth $83.95 ISBN: 9780708316887 Published February 2002 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9780708316849 Published February 2002 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

Ernest Gellner and Modernity

Michael Lessnoff

Michael Lessnoff

Distributed for University of Wales Press

177 pages | 8-2/5 x 5-3/5 | © 2002
Cloth $83.95 ISBN: 9780708316887 Published February 2002 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9780708316849 Published February 2002 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

 Ernest Gellner (1925–1995) was one of the major thinkers of the twentieth-century. He held major chairs in philosophy, sociology and social anthropology during his distinguished career and contributed to a wide range of political and philosophical debates, from linguistic philosophy to the theory of political nationalism and the theory of history. As an outspoken defender of the Enlightenment tradition and of liberal pluralism, Gellner was a committed opponent of theocracy, totalitarianism and libertarianism, and also acquired a deserved reputation as a scourge of a number of the twentieth century’s intellectual idols, most notably Marx, Freud and Wittgenstein.

Ernest Gellner and Modernity is a groundbreaking book which provides the first comprehensive discussion of this polymathic writer and thinker. Michael Lessnoff presents a lucid and coherent exposition of Gellner’s thought, making clear both his major contributions to the diverse areas in which he worked and the underlying consistency and unity of his thought. He shows how Gellner’s analysis of the social, economic and cognitive forms intrinsic to modernity carried forward the work of Max Weber and Karl Popper and also enabled him to develop a profound and original philosophy of science which is at the same time a political philosophy.

Political Studies Review

“This is the first book-length treatment of the work of Ernest Gellner. It is beautifully written, essentially accurate, covers the full range of the great polymath’s thought, and offers very interesting judgements of its own.” –Political Studies Review

Contemporary Political Theory

“His book conveys just the right mix of appreciation admiration and judicious, occasionally sharp criticism to do its subject scholarly justice. . . What we have here, then, is a fine, well-crafted, reliable and seriously critical presentation of what are, arguably, the central constituents of Gellner’s oeuvre . . .” –Contemporary Political Theory

Contents
Acknowledgements
 
1  Introduction
2  Theory of History
3  Nationalism
4  Politics in Modern Society
5  Islam
6  Wittgenstein and Linguistic Philosophy
7  Freud and Psychoanalysis
8  Relativism, Cognitive Ethics and the Philosophy of Science
9  Ernest Gellner's Achievement in Perspective
 
Notes
Bibliography
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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