Ernest Gellner

1925 - 1995

Photo of Ernest Gellner

Icon of person Ernest Gellner

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 263,182 page views. His biography is available in 33 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 32 in 2019). Ernest Gellner is the 436th most popular philosopher (up from 437th in 2019), the 1,282nd most popular biography from France (down from 1,277th in 2019) and the 59th most popular French Philosopher.

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

Memorability Metrics

  • 260k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 69.25

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 33

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.29

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.56

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Ernest Gellners by language


Among philosophers, Ernest Gellner ranks 436 out of 1,089Before him are P. D. Ouspensky, Gaetano Mosca, Franciscus Patricius, Pierre Duhem, Pavel Florensky, and Agrippa the Skeptic. After him are Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Brunetto Latini, Antoine Destutt de Tracy, Damascius, Yan Hui, and Henry Suso.

Most Popular Philosophers in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1925, Ernest Gellner ranks 78Before him are Honor Blackman, Willi Herold, Veljko Kadijević, Michel de Certeau, Nicolai Gedda, and Harry Harrison. After him are Tom Gehrels, Sammy Davis Jr., Hal Holbrook, John Pople, Hilda Gadea, and Gabriele Amorth. Among people deceased in 1995, Ernest Gellner ranks 51Before him are Alonzo Church, Lita Grey, Miklós Rózsa, Rose Kennedy, Edda Mussolini, and Ernest Walton. After him are Bob Ross, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jeremy Brett, Nathan Rosen, Ko Takamoro, and Carlos Monzón.

Others Born in 1925

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 1995

Go to all Rankings

In France

Among people born in France, Ernest Gellner ranks 1,282 out of 5,234Before him are Michel Butor (1926), Pierre Duhem (1861), Georges Prêtre (1924), Bernard Hinault (1954), Maurice Ronet (1927), and Antoine Augustin Cournot (1801). After him are John III of Navarre (1477), Odile of Alsace (662), Benedict of Aniane (750), Charles Péguy (1873), Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754), and Jean Clouet (1480).


Among philosophers born in France, Ernest Gellner ranks 59Before him are Pierre d'Ailly (1350), Étienne Gilson (1884), Michel de Certeau (1925), Étienne Cabet (1788), Petrus Ramus (1515), and Pierre Duhem (1861). After him are Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754), Alain de Lille (1117), Maine de Biran (1766), Michel Serres (1930), Vincent of Beauvais (1190), and Jean-Luc Nancy (1940).