Frases de Ernest Gellner

Ernest Gellner foto
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Ernest Gellner

Data de nascimento: 9. Dezembro 1925
Data de falecimento: 5. Novembro 1995

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Ernest André Gellner foi um filósofo e antropólogo social judeu-checo nascido na França e mais tarde naturalizado britânico. Foi um importante teórico da sociedade moderna e das diferenças que a distinguem das sociedades precursoras. Sua esfera de influência é pouco comum e abrange os campos da Filosofia, Sociologia, Ciência Política, História e Antropologia Social.

O jornal britânico The Independent na sua edição de 8 de Novembro de 1995 referiu-se a Gellner como "uma cruzada de um homem pelo racionalismo crítico, em defesa do universalismo do esclarecimento contra as marés ascendentes do idealismo e relativismo".

Foi professor de filosofia, lógica e método científico na London School of Economics durante 35 anos. Foi depois o professor William Wyse de Antropologia Social na Universidade de Cambridge por 10 anos e finalmente foi o líder fundador do centro para o estudo do nacionalismo, em Praga. Foi colega de Karl Popper na London School of Economics. Popper é, como o próprio Gellner o diz, a sua maior influência. E a segunda será provavelmente Max Weber: Perry Anderson escreveu que de todos os pensadores sociológicos pós-Weber, Gellner foi quem "permaneceu mais próximo dos problemas intelectuais centrais de Weber". O sociólogo David Glass disse uma vez que não tinha a certeza se a próxima revolução viria da direita ou da esquerda, mas ele tinha a certeza de que, viesse ela de onde ela viesse, a primeira pessoa a ser abatida seria Ernest Gellner.

Citações Ernest Gellner

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„É um facto curioso mas indiscutível que todo o bébé filosófico nascido com vida se tornará ou num pequeno positivista ou num pequeno Hegeliano. Também é interessante que filosoficamente, a Europa permanece no século 18, tal como era antes da "Revolução Diplomática“

— Ernest Gellner
1756): de um lado a aliança Anglo-Austríaca, do outro a Franco-Prussiana. Muscovy (actual Rússia) e os estados e principados da área mediterrânica tendem a estar alinhados com o eixo Paris-Berlim, enquanto que o lado escandinavo luta pelo campo oposto. Encontramos Polacos de distinção em ambos os lados.

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„When knowledge is the slave of social considerations, it defines a special class; when it serves its own ends only, it no longer does so.“

— Ernest Gellner
Context: When knowledge is the slave of social considerations, it defines a special class; when it serves its own ends only, it no longer does so. There is of course a profound logic in this paradox: genuine knowledge is egalitarian in that it allows no privileged source, testers, messengers of Truth. It tolerates no privileged and circumscribed data. The autonomy of knowledge is a leveller. Plough, Sword and Book (1988)

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„Civil Society is a cluster of institutions and associations strong enough to prevent tyranny, but which are, none the less, entered and left freely, rather than imposed by birth or sustained by awesome ritual.“

— Ernest Gellner
Context: Civil Society is a cluster of institutions and associations strong enough to prevent tyranny, but which are, none the less, entered and left freely, rather than imposed by birth or sustained by awesome ritual. You can join the Labour Party without slaughtering a sheep...

„It is the Soft Porn of Irrationalism.“

— Ernest Gellner
Context: Wittgenstein's appeal lies in the fact that he provides a strange kind of vindication of romanticism, of conceptual Gemeinschaft, of custom-based concepts rather than statute-seeking Reform, and that he does so through a very general theory of meaning, rather than from the premisses habitually used for this purpose. Because there is no unique formal notation valid for all speech, each and every culture is vindicated. One never knew that could be done — and so quickly too! It is that above all which endows his philosophy with such a capacity to attract and to repel. His mystique of consensual custom denies that anything can sit in judgment of our concepts, that some may be more rational and others less so. So all of them are in order and have nothing to fear from philosophy, as indeed he insists. This is a fairly mild form of irrationalism, invoking no fierce dark Gods, merely a consensual community. It is the Soft Porn of Irrationalism. Concepts and Community, in Relativism and the Social Sciences (1985)

„Addicts would be subject to blackmail.“

— Ernest Gellner
Context: I do not recommend any legislative action against hermeneutics. I am a liberal person opposed to all unnecessary state limitation of individual liberties. Hermeneutics between consenting adults should not, in my view, be the object of any statutory restrictions. I know, only too well, what it would entail. Hermeneutic speakeasies would spring up all over the place, smuggled Thick Descriptions would be brought in by the lorry-load from Canada by the Mafia, blood and thick meaning would clot in the gutter as rival gangs of semiotic bootleggers slugged it out in a series of bloody shoot-outs and ambushes. Addicts would be subject to blackmail. Consumption of deep meanings and its attendant psychic consequences would in no way diminsh, but the criminal world would benefit, and the whole fabric of civil society would be put under severe strain. Never!

„The way forward does not lie in amateur and comically timeless linguistic sociology which takes ‘forms of life’ for granted (and this is what philosophy has been recently), but in the systematic study of forms of life which does not take them for granted at all.“

— Ernest Gellner
Context: The way forward does not lie in amateur and comically timeless linguistic sociology which takes ‘forms of life’ for granted (and this is what philosophy has been recently), but in the systematic study of forms of life which does not take them for granted at all. It hardly matters whether such an inquiry is called philosophy or sociology. The crisis in the humanities and in the mainstream of philosophy (1964), reprinted in The Devil in Modern Philosophy (1974)

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