Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography

Overview

A remarkable account of the life and thoughts of the philosopher and linguist.
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Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography

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Overview

A remarkable account of the life and thoughts of the philosopher and linguist.
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Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal
“Gellner has been brought back to life—alongside his combative ideas and his maverick approach to intellectual combat—in a sympathetic but by no means reverential biography by his former pupil John A. Hall.”
Michael Mann
“Ernest Gellner was a great twentieth-century intellectual, and John Hall’s fine biography conveys a vivid sense of the man and of the extraordinary range of his ideas, while commenting with great intelligence upon them. A must read.”
Charles Taylor
“This is a fascinating biography of one of the seminal and most interesting thinkers of the later twentieth century … John Hall has done a great deal to make clear the complex background and underlying motives of this remarkable man and thinker.”
From the Publisher
“Gellner has been brought back to life—alongside his combative ideas and his maverick approach to intellectual combat—in a sympathetic but by no means reverential biography by his former pupil John A. Hall.”—Brendan Simms, Wall Street Journal

“The cumulative effect is monumental—and a monument does seem overdue.”—Scott McLemee, National

“Few books have more successfully combined the study of personal life and intellectual development in the turbulent setting of the 20th century.”—Eric Hobsbawm, Observer

“John A. Hall concludes his account of Ernest Gellner by observing that his outlook on the world was austere. “But therein lies its attraction,” he goes on. “Not much real comfort for our woes is on offer; the consolations peddled in the market are indeed worthless. What Gellner offered was something more mature and demanding: cold intellectual honesty.” Brief personal impressions are rarely conclusive, especially when recalled after many years; but that Gellner was an exceptionally honest thinker is beyond reasonable doubt.”—John Gray, New Republic

“Outstanding”—Stefan Collini, London Review of Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844677580
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Malign Fates 1

2 A New Start 32

3 Moving Into Position 74

4 Concepts and Society 102

5 Gellner's Philosophy 131

6 Components of a Career 168

7 Knowledge and Illusion 207

8 The Shape of History 244

9 The Sociology of Islam 275

10 A General Theory of Nationalism 307

11 Cambridge and Prague 343

Epilogue 377

Index 383

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