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Spectacles and Predicaments
Essays in Social Theory

I. C. Jarvie, J. Agassi
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  • Date Published: September 1991
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521424349

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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.

    Reviews & endorsements

    '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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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1991
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521424349
    • length: 396 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • availability: Available
  • 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 libéralisation manquée
    18. Gone and gone forever
    19. The Kathmandu option
    Sources
    Bibliography of Gellner, 1972–78
    Indexes.

  • Author

    Ernest Gellner

    Contributors

    I. C. Jarvie, J. Agassi

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