Ernest Gellner cytaty

Ernest Gellner Fotografia
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Ernest Gellner

Data urodzenia: 9. Grudzień 1925
Data zgonu: 5. Listopad 1995

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Ernest André Gellner – brytyjski filozof, socjolog i antropolog społeczny.

Urodził się w rodzinie żydowskiej, wychowywał się w Czechosłowacji. Nazywany jest jednym z „najbardziej energicznych intelektualistów” i „jednoosobową krucjatą na rzecz krytycznego racjonalizmu”. Jego pierwsza książka Słowa i rzeczy , stała się przyczynkiem do głównego artykułu w The Times i publikowanej przez miesiąc korespondencji na stronach z listami czytelników.

Ernest Gellner był przez 22 lat profesorem filozofii, logiki i metodologii naukowej w London School of Economics , przez 10 lat profesorem antropologii społecznej na Uniwersytecie w Cambridge i w końcu szefem nowego Centrum Badań nad nacjonalizmem w Pradze . Walczył przez całe swoje życie – pisząc, ucząc, prowadząc aktywność polityczną – przeciwko temu co uznawał za zamknięty system myślenia – szczególnie przeciw komunizmowi, psychoanalizie i relatywizmowi.

Socjolog David Glass zauważył, że „nie jest pewne czy kolejna rewolucja nadejdzie ze strony lewicy czy prawicy, ale jest zupełnie pewne, że z którejkolwiek strony ona nadejdzie to pierwszą osobą, która zostanie stracona będzie Ernest Gellner”.

Cytaty Ernest Gellner

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„A cleric who loses his faith abandons his calling; a philosopher who loses his redefines his subject.“

— Ernest Gellner, Words and Things: An Examination of, and an Attack on, Linguistic Philosophy

„One persistent attempt to find a thread in the history of mankind focuses on the notion of Reason. Human history, on this view, is the unfolding of rationality. Human thought, institutions, social organization, become progressively more rational. The idea that Reason is the goal or end-point of the development of mankind can fuse with the view that it also constitutes the principal agency
which impels humanity along its path. It seems natural to suppose that changes in human life spring from growth of our ideas, our ways of thought. What is conduct if not implementation of ideas? If we improve, is it not because our ideas have improved? Though somewhat suspect as the fruit of vainglorious self-congratulation by nineteenth century Europeans, the role of thought and reason still deserves some consideration.

The problems and difficulties facing a reason-centred view of history are considerable. No doubt the idea is far less popular now than it was in the heady days of rationalistic optimism, which stretched, in one form or another, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. But, in a sober and not necessarily optimistic form, it remains necessary to attempt some kind
of sketch of the cognitive transformation of mankind, from the
days of hunting to those of computing. The nature of our cognitive activities has not remained constant: not only have
things changed, but the change has also been deep and fundamental. It is not merely a matter of more of the same. The
changes that have occurred have been changes in kind.

A convenient baseline or starting point for the discussion of this problem is provided by the blatant absurdity of some at least of the beliefs of primitive man. Many of us like to think that the standards of what is acceptable in matters of belief have gone up, and that the advance of reason in history is manifest in this raising of standards. We have become fastidious and shrink from the beliefs of our distant ancestors, which strike us as absurd.
Perhaps, so as not to prejudge an important issue, one ought to say-it is the translations frequently offered of some of the beliefs of some primitive men which now seem so absurd. It may be—and some have indeed argued this—that the absurdity is located not in the original belief itself but in its translation, inspired by a failure to understand the original context. On this view, it is the modern translator, and not the savage, who is guilty of absurdity.“

— Ernest Gellner, Plough, Sword, and Book: The Structure of Human History

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„One persistent attempt to find a thread in the history of mankind focuses on the notion of Reason. Human history, on this view, is the unfolding of rationality. Human thought, institutions, social organization, become progressively more rational. The idea that Reason is the goal or end-point of the development of mankind can fuse with the view that it also constitutes the principal agency
which impels humanity along its path. It seems natural to suppose that changes in human life spring from growth of our ideas, our ways of thought. What is conduct if not implementation of ideas? If we improve, is it not because our ideas have improved? Though somewhat suspect as the fruit of vainglorious self-congratulation by nineteenth century Europeans, the role of thought and reason still deserves some consideration.

The problems and difficulties facing a reason-centred view of history are considerable. No doubt the idea is far less popular now than it was in the heady days of rationalistic optimism,
which stretched, in one form or another, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. But, in a sober and not necessarily optimistic form, it remains necessary to attempt some kind
of sketch of the cognitive transformation of mankind, from the
days of hunting to those of computing. The nature of our cognitive activities has not remained constant: not only have
things changed, but the change has also been deep and fundamental. It is not merely a matter of more of the same. The
changes that have occurred have been changes in kind.

A convenient baseline or starting point for the discussion of this problem is provided by the blatant absurdity of some at least of the beliefs of primitive man. Many of us like to think that the standards of what is acceptable in matters of belief have gone up, and that the advance of reason in history is manifest in this raising of standards. We have become fastidious and shrink from the beliefs of our distant ancestors, which strike us as absurd.
Perhaps, so as not to prejudge an important issue, one ought to say - it is the translations frequently offered of some of the beliefs of some primitive men which now seem so absurd. It may be — and some have indeed argued this — that the absurdity is located not in the original belief itself but in its translation, inspired by a failure to understand the original context. On this view, it is the modern translator, and not the savage, who is guilty of absurdity.“

— Ernest Gellner, Plough, Sword, and Book: The Structure of Human History

„One persistent attempt to find a thread in the history of mankind focuses on the notion of Reason. Human history, on this view, is the unfolding of rationality. Human thought, institutions, social organization, become progressively more rational. The idea that Reason is the goal or end-point of the development of mankind can fuse with the view that it also constitutes the principal agency which impels humanity along its path. It seems natural to suppose that changes in human life spring from growth of our ideas, our ways of thought. What is conduct if not implementation of ideas? If we improve, is it not because our ideas have improved? Though somewhat suspect as the fruit of vainglorious self-congratulation by nineteenth century Europeans, the role of thought and reason still deserves some consideration.

The problems and difficulties facing a reason-centred view of history are considerable. No doubt the idea is far less popular now than it was in the heady days of rationalistic optimism, which stretched, in one form or another, from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. But, in a sober and not necessarily optimistic form, it remains necessary to attempt some kind of sketch of the cognitive transformation of mankind, from the days of hunting to those of computing. The nature of our cognitive activities has not remained constant: not only have things changed, but the change has also been deep and fundamental. It is not merely a matter of more of the same. The changes that have occurred have been changes in kind.

A convenient baseline or starting point for the discussion of this problem is provided by the blatant absurdity of some at least of the beliefs of primitive man. Many of us like to think that the standards of what is acceptable in matters of belief have gone up, and that the advance of reason in history is manifest in this raising of standards. We have become fastidious and shrink from the beliefs of our distant ancestors, which strike us as absurd. Perhaps, so as not to prejudge an important issue, one ought to say-it is the translations frequently offered of some of the beliefs of some primitive men which now seem so absurd. It may be—and some have indeed argued this—that the absurdity is located not in the original belief itself but in its translation, inspired by a failure to understand the original context. On this view, it is the modern translator, and not the savage, who is guilty of absurdity.“

— Ernest Gellner, Plough, Sword, and Book: The Structure of Human History

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