Spectacles and Predicaments

Spectacles and Predicaments : Essays in Social Theory

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This collection of essays is concerned with philosophy, politics and society. The first group examines what philosophers such as Hegel, Wittgenstein and Chomsky have said or implied about the nature of society in general. A second group examines the cognitive predicament, questions concerning the nature of the possibility of knowledge, as handled by a thinker such as Descartes, or the Pragmatist tradition. The third group handles the political predicament and deals specifically with problems such as nationalism, the nature of the liberalisation process, the future of the welfare and consumer state and the option facing underdeveloped societies. The essays deal not only with classical theories concerning these problems but also with various recent discussions. The volume will interest many individual philosophers and social theorists and those with a more general interest in our culture and political discussions.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 396 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 22mm | 500g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521424348
  • 9780521424349
  • 2,030,754

Table of contents

Editorial preface I. C. Jarvie and J. Agassi; Part I. Understanding Humanity: 1. The absolute in braces; 2. Ethnomethodology: the re-enchantment industry or the Californian way of subjectivity; 3. A Wittgensteinian philosophy of (or against) the Social sciences; 4. Period piece; 5. Chomsky; 6. Notes towards a theory of ideology; Part II. The Cognitive Predicament: 7. Options of belief; 8. The pure enquirer; 9. An ethic of cognition; 10. Beyond truth and falsehood, or no method in my madness; 11. The last pragmatist, or the behaviourist Platonist; 12. Pragmatism and the important of being earnest; Part III. The Political Predicament: 13. Nationalism, or the new confessions of a justified Edinburgh sinner; 14. A social contract in search of an idiom: the demise of the Danegeld state; 15. The withering away of the dentistry state; 16. From the Revolution to liberalisation; 17. Plaidoyer pur une liberalisation manquee; 18. Gone and gone forever; 19. The Kathmandu option; Sources; Bibliography of Gellner, 1972-78; Indexes.
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Review quote

'Each essay is written with verve and wit and each is a splendid example of a particular genre, the erudite and independently minded commentary on contemporary cultural and political developments ...' British Book News '... another gathering of superb essays.' The Times Educational Supplement '... Gellner's erudite analysis of our knowledge and interpretation of reality is constantly pertinent and provocative.' Psychological Medicine '... his essays on politics in particular are vivd and thought-provoking pieces of work.' New Society
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