Transition to Modernity: Essays on Power, Wealth and Belief

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This set of essays is concerned with the explanation of large scale social change. Concentration is on the social stagnation characteristic of agrarian circumstances, the conditions for exit from that world, and the varied social orders that inhabit, sometimes precariously, the modern world community. The distinguished contributors from archaeology, anthropology, sociology, economic history and philosophy, have all been stimulated by the work of Ernest Gellner, and the essays are in dialogue with his view of our social condition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521382021
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/16/1992
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of contributors; Introduction; Part I. The Pre-Modern World: 1. World languages and human dispersals: a minimalist view Colin Renfrew; 2. Nomads and oases in Central Asia A. M. Khazanov; 3. Why poverty was inevitable in traditional societies E. A. Wrigley; Part II. Transitions to the Modern World: 4. On a little known chapter of Mediterranean history Karl R. Popper; 5. Ernest Gellner and the escape to modernity Alan MacFarlane; 6. The emergence of modern European nationalism Michael Mann; 7. Sovereign individuals Ronald Dore; Part III. Modernity and its Discontents: 8. Science, politics, enchantment Perry Anderson; 9. Deconstructing post-modernism: Gellner and Crocodile Dundee Joseph Agassi; 10. A methodology without presuppositions? John Watkins; 11. Gellner's positivism I. C. Jarvie; 12. Left versus Right in French political ideology Louis Dumont; 13. Property, justice and common good after socialism John Dunn; 14. Social contract, democracy and freedom Gerard Radnitzky; 15. Thoughts on liberalisation Jose Merquior; 16. Peace, peace at last? John A. Hall; Indexes.

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