Plough, Sword, and Book: The Structure of Human History
"British philosopher/anthropologist Gellner offers a comprehensive theory of history: humans settle into agriculture, produce surpluses, and divide into complex subgroups. Communication becomes pressing. Written language emerges as a controlling super-reality, bringing a Platonic illusion of an eternal world. Gradually, facts take precedence over concepts and "objective knowledge" is born. This scheme takes us from the tribal society to the Royal Society, but Gellner has not met all the challenges. There are still those who think that real knowledge is offered only by theology, or Platonic mathematical and logical reality, or a society free of class tension. And Franz Borkenau urged in End and Beginning (LJ 1/11/81) that all knowable reality is powerfully shaped by language. Thought-provoking but not conclusive."--Www.amazon (Nov. 8, 2010).
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IN THE BEGINNING
The Structure of History
Production Coercion Cognition
Which Way Will the Stone Age Vote Swing?
The Suspect Witness
COMMUNITY TO SOCIETY
THE COERCIVE ORDER AND ITS EROSION
Conditions of the Exit
PRODUCTION VALUE AND VALIDITY
Production and Coercion
The Three Stages of Economy
The Ideological Transition to the Generalized Market
The ReEntry Problem
Generic Types of Strand
Social and Logical Coherence
The Overall Plot
THE COMING OF THE OTHER
The Disembodied Word
The Indirect Route
The First Unification
The Authority of Concepts
Platos Sociological Mistakes
Church and State and their Separability
Protestantism Generic and Specific
The Sovereignty of Knowledge
The Dethronement of the Concept
ConceptImplementing and Instrumental Cultures
The Enlightened Solution and its Problems
The Age of Progress or Operation Bootstrap
The Circularity of Enlightened Reasoning
Objectivity or Not?
THE NEW SCENE
The New Coercive System
The Two RunningMates
The RightWing Alternative
Acorn or Gate
The New Social Contract
1945 and Some Recent Clauses in the Contract
The Future of Production
The Future of Cognition
The Future of Coercion
Summary of Argument
activities agrarian age agrarian society agrarian world ancien regime argument authority become central claims clerisy codified coercion cognitive complex concepts condition conflict constitute context contrast Counter-Reformation course criteria crucial culture David Hume deity diverse division of labour doctrine dominant economic effective egalitarian emergence endowed engendered Enlightenment Ernest Gellner ethos external fact faith favoured genetic genuine growth hence human ideas ideological important independent individual industrial inherent innovation instrumental rationality internal Karl Polanyi kind knowledge legitimation liberal linked logic mankind Marshall Sahlins Marxism Max Weber means ment merely modern society moral nature of things neolithic revolution normative notion Nuer once orderly organization perhaps perpetual pervasive Platonic political possess possible primitive problem production Protestantism question radical reason referential religion ritual role rulers rules salvation sense single situation social order sphere status surplus theory Thrasymachus tion transcendent transformation truth unified unique valid values vision wealth
Page 12 - But apart from this contemporary mood, the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.
Page 11 - Keynes once stated the liberal faith in the power of ideas in as extreme a way as possible: ... the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else.