By Ernest Gellner
Ernest Gellner (1925-1995) has been defined as "one of the final nice relevant eu polymath intellectuals." during this, his final publication, he throws new gentle on key figures of the 20 th century: the thinker Wittgenstein, and Malinowski, founding father of smooth British social anthropology. Gellner exhibits how the concept of either males grew from a standard historical past of assumptions approximately human nature, society, and language. He ties jointly topics that preoccupied him, epitomizing his trust that philosophy--far from "leaving every thing because it is"--is approximately vital ancient, social and private matters.
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Additional info for Language and Solitude: Wittgenstein, Malinowski and the Habsburg Dilemma
I've got heard it claimed that musical ± and, possibly, well-off ± population of Cracow may well visit Vienna for an evening on the opera, returning subsequent day. even if this is often actually actual, undoubtedly someone interpreting works of highbrow heritage approximately both position will encounter references to the various similar names. It used to be all one highbrow continuum. regardless of a few attention-grabbing modifications, the underlying polarity was once similar to the single which haunted Wittgenstein's Vienna: positivism opposed to romanticism. The positivism was once a lot an identical: the 123 124 Malinowski an important identify of Ernst Mach seems to be to dominate in either locations. it's the romanticism which used to be diverse. Vienna, for the entire richness of its highbrow lifestyles, turns out traditionally to were spared Hegelianism. (Curiously, there's a Hegelstrasse in vital Vienna. ) it's not in any respect transparent why this could be so: neither Catholicism nor a hierarchical and bureaucratic country constitution, nor the other function of Habsburg society you'll be able to think about, have in different places inhibited the unfold of Hegelian rules. yet, regardless of the clarification, it sort of feels to be a truth: Hegelianism in Vienna, like Democracy in Russia, nice English Dishes, or Victories of the Czechoslovak military, may make an extremely brief publication. Now in Poland it was once relatively diverse. Hegelian historiosophy was once a de®nite aspect within the cultural ferment, notwithstanding it did need to compete with a robust positivistic pattern. In a fashion this is often relatively strange, because the Polish perspective to Hegel may well hardly ever be something except ambivalent, at most sensible. Hegel had taught that countries actually input background simply by way of buying their very own country and that stateless international locations weren't totally a part of historical past; furthermore, that what occurred in heritage was once a part of a pre-ordained and rational plan, in order that what occurred, used to be correct. the true, within the celebrated word, was once the rational. Now the Poles had yet lately, on the finish of the eighteenth century, misplaced their very own kingdom whilst it was once carved up through their 3 neighbours, one in every of whom Hegel had credited with being the expression of cause on the earth. by means of an easy syllogism, you can actually finish that Polish political aspirations have been neither actual nor rational, which could not often were a welcome message in Poland. None the fewer, Polish intellectuals have been intensely attracted to Hegel's principles. Polish romanticism may perhaps carry a distinct twist to the Hegelian angle to historical past, via seeing the destiny of Poland, because it then used to be, as a truly specific case of vindication by means of heritage: Poland's position used to be proven no longer by means of its triumphs yet via its agony. It was once a type of facts via redemption, expiation and atonement. This, so as to communicate, destructive or inverse Hegelianism ®tted in good with the final pessimism of the ®n de sieÁcle. Hegelian rules have been a very good manner of assimilating and conveying the assumption of tradition as being greater than purely a summation of what humans do, by way of being, quite, a spirit which pervades and publications them, giving function, path and intending to their lives.