Ernest Gellner

Ernest Gellner is a professor of philosophy at the London School of Economics. His most recent book, Muslim Society, was published last year, and he is now working on a book about nationalism.

No Haute Cuisine in Africa

Ernest Gellner, 2 September 1982

The brilliant, illuminating and intellectually cohesive tradition known as social anthropology has long been dominated in Britain by the thought and research styles established by Bronislaw Malinowski. Those who were close to him and who attended his seminar at the LSE were the Companions of the Prophet. Many of them are still with us, active and productive: but they are by now, all of them, in academic retirement. Of the cohort which follows them, Jack Goody is one of the leading figures. In Eastern Europe, there is a joke about the current generation of Communist leaders which says that its coming was predicted in the Bible: ‘Then came a generation which knew not Joseph.’ Jack is prominent amongst those who knew not Bronislaw.

Our Way

John Gray, 22 September 1994

Recent discussion of the Soviet collapse, even when not echoing the shallow triumphalism of Western conservatives and neo-liberals, has interpreted that collapse as an episode in the global...

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What next?

W.G. Runciman, 27 October 1988

If human history does, indeed, have a structure, it is, as Professor Gellner emphasises, discernible only with hindsight. The path which has led, in his words, ‘from the cosy social cocoon...

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Rosalind Mitchison, 17 September 1987

What nationalism is, and how it came to exist, are topics of some significance today. One reason for this is practical: that a suitable answer to these questions would justify some states, sure...

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Keeping the show on the road

John Kerrigan, 6 November 1986

‘The Professor was not always right,’ declared H.D. after analysis in Vienna. Her judgment seems rather generous. Reading her Tribute to Freud, one can’t ignore the emotional...

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Gellner’s Grenade

Rosalind Mitchison, 21 June 1984

This is a small book, but one of high density, both in ideas and, at times, in expression. Gellner’s field of concern is the modern world, and though occasionally he casts a look at...

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Onward Muslim Soldiers

Malise Ruthven, 1 October 1981

Fourteen centuries ago the Prophet Muhammad united the tribes of Arabia under the banner of Islam and reconquered for the One True God the Holy City of Mecca which had long been a centre of...

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