Frases de Ernest Gellner

Ernest Gellner Foto
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Ernest Gellner

Fecha de nacimiento:9. Diciembre 1925
Fecha de muerte:5. Noviembre 1995

Ernest Gellner fue un filósofo y antropólogo social francés.

Hijo de una pareja de judíos germanoparlantes de Bohemia, fue profesor de sociología en la London School of Economics and Politic Science, además de William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology en la Universidad de Cambridge, Ernest Gellner es uno de los pensadores más influyentes de las ciencias sociales. Es autor de una de las pocas teorías originales sobre nacionalismo expuesta en Thought and Change, argumentando que el nacionalismo es un inevitable producto de la modernización, que necesita culturas escritas para crear homogéneas sociedades de ciudadanos. En el posterior Nations and Nationalism, Gellner exploró la base material de la transición hacia las culturas literarias en la sociedad industrial.

Como filósofo destacó en su elaboración del concepto de racionalidad de la sociedad actual, en Reason and Culture, donde destaca la gran proción de irracionalidad que posee el capitalismo actual. Además, en El arado, la espada y el libro, dividió la Historia humana en tres grandes periodos , separados éstos por las dos grandes revoluciones de la Historia: la Revolución neolítica y la Revolución industrial. De esta manera asiganará un tipo de mentalidad a cada tipo de sociedad, aunque su análisis se hará más complejo al introducir los factores de producción, cognición y coerción que de muy diversas maneras determinan cada tipo de sociedad.

Frases Ernest Gellner

„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

„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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