Since the 17th century, Western society has had a turbulent relationship with Reason. Descartes set out to reorganize all his opinions in the light of Reason, allowing, as Pascal bitterly reproached him, nothing else. In the course of the centuries which followed, the relationship with Reason became the object of a vigorous, often passionate debate. David Hume declared Reason to be impotent; Immanuel Kant observed that men suffered from 'misology' as the result of their disappointed expectations from Reason; G.W.F. Hegel declared that the main insight of philosophy consisted of the realization that Reason masterminded and guided all history.
The debate has not remained restricted to philosophy. Max Weber, the most influential modern sociologist, was obsessed with the distinctive role of Reason in Western society, and the part it played in engendering industrialism. Social anthropologists have been preoccupied both with the universality and the diversity of conceptual thought. Emile Durkheim taught them to ask why all men were rational, whilst Max Weber taught sociologists to ask why some men were more rational than others.
This book brings together the philosophical, historical and sociological discussions of rationality and strives to make clear the underlying issues and the continuity of the debate in the various disciplines.
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Ernest Gellner has been William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge since 1984. After serving as a private in the Czech Armoured Brigade in 1944 and 1945, he joined the staff of the London School of Economics where from 1962 to 1984 he was Professor of Philosophy. He has taught and lectured all over the world, most recently in Czechoslovakia. He is as well known among historians as among anthropologists and philosophers.Review:
"Elegantly written, lucid; instructive and easy to read." Times
"Exciting, even exhilarating reading." Times Literary Supplement
"Fascinating and extremely well written work. Excellent bibliography and index. Highly recommended! All levels." Choice
"Reason and Culture amounts to a personal testament - Gellner's fullest, strongest, and most accessible formulation of his commitment to reason. The book is fascinating." Contemporary Sociology
"He writes here as elegantly, trenchantly and wittily as in his numerous other books." ANZJS
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Buchbeschreibung Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, 1992. Paperback. Buchzustand: Very Good. Paperback in very good condition. Light creases along spine. Page block head is lightly foxed. Previous owner's sticker on half title page. Pages are clean and text is clear throughout. HCW. Used. Artikel-Nr. 461677
Buchbeschreibung Buchzustand: Antiquarian. Blackwell, Oxford / Cambridge USA, 1994. Reprint 1st ed.1992. XIV,193p. Paperback. Front cover slightly creased. Small personal library mark and name on free endpaper. 'In this fascinating and extremely well written work, Gellner traces the ramifications of opposing Western rationalism to traditional notions of culture.' (Choice). 'Donning once again his old philosophical hat, Ernest Gellner pulls out of it an increasingly scarce but badly needed good: a defence of Reason, and a very militant defence at that.' (The times Higher Educational Supplement). From the library of the late Sir Kenneth James Dover. Antiquarian. Artikel-Nr. 24210