Ernest Gellner

1925 - 1995

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Ernest André Gellner FRAI (9 December 1925 – 5 November 1995) was a British-Czech philosopher and social anthropologist described by The Daily Telegraph, when he died, as one of the world's most vigorous intellectuals, and by The Independent as a "one-man crusader for critical rationalism".His first book, Words and Things (1959), prompted a leader in The Times and a month-long correspondence on its letters page over his attack on linguistic philosophy. As the Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics for 22 years, the William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge for eight years, and head of the new Centre for the Study of Nationalism in Prague, Gellner fought all his life—in his writing, teaching and political activism—against what he saw as closed systems of thought, particularly communism, psychoanalysis, relativism and the dictatorship of the free market. Among other issues in social thought, modernization theory and nationalism were two of his central themes, his multicultural perspective allowing him to work within the subject-matter of three separate civilizations: Western, Islamic, and Russian. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Ernest Gellner has received more than 288,669 page views. His biography is available in 36 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 33 in 2019). Ernest Gellner is the 418th most popular philosopher (up from 436th in 2019), the 1,232nd most popular biography from France (up from 1,279th in 2019) and the 56th most popular Philosopher.

Ernest Gellner is most famous for being a scholar of nationalism and for his contributions to the theory of modernization.

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Among philosophers, Ernest Gellner ranks 418 out of 1,081Before him are Linji Yixuan, Ban Zhao, Boetius of Dacia, Alain de Lille, Henri-Frédéric Amiel, and Bernard of Chartres. After him are Vincent of Beauvais, Carl Gustav Hempel, Ernesto Laclau, Leszek Kołakowski, Maine de Biran, and Buddhaghosa.

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Among people born in 1925, Ernest Gellner ranks 74Before him are Hilda Gadea, Hal Holbrook, Oliver Smithies, József Bozsik, Bill Haley, and Robert Rauschenberg. After him are Michel de Certeau, Harry Harrison, Joshua Lederberg, Leo Esaki, John DeLorean, and Gabriele Amorth. Among people deceased in 1995, Ernest Gellner ranks 46Before him are Pierre Schaeffer, Peter Townsend, Roger Zelazny, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Rory Gallagher, and Elizabeth Montgomery. After him are Lola Flores, Ștefan Kovács, Rose Kennedy, Bob Ross, Lita Grey, and César Rodríguez Álvarez.

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In France

Among people born in France, Ernest Gellner ranks 1,232 out of 6,011Before him are Fanny Ardant (1949), Adalberon (947), Laurent Blanc (1965), Prince Jean, Duke of Guise (1874), Édouard Mortier, Duke of Trévise (1768), and André Weil (1906). After him are René Thom (1923), Francis I, Duke of Lorraine (1517), Jaufre Rudel (1125), André Masson (1896), Pierre Bouguer (1698), and Vincent of Beauvais (1190).


Among philosophers born in France, Ernest Gellner ranks 56Before him are Jean Gerson (1363), Pierre d'Ailly (1350), Maurice Halbwachs (1877), Hugues Felicité Robert de Lamennais (1782), Étienne Cabet (1788), and Alain de Lille (1117). After him are Vincent of Beauvais (1190), Maine de Biran (1766), Richard Avenarius (1843), Emmanuel Mounier (1905), Michel de Certeau (1925), and Étienne Gilson (1884).