By Ernest Gellner
It is a vastly clever and well-written booklet. The intensity and breadth of Gellner's wisdom are really extraordinary. That acknowledged, i believe the booklet is wrong-headed in at the very least significant ways.
Most importantly Gellner assumes that the historical-cultural state of affairs of a society is completely mirrored within the highbrow and mental makeup of its electorate. He continues this trust regardless of proof on the contrary (e.g., that Wittgenstein by no means referred to tradition or politics, that he was once amazingly poorly learn within the correct texts, or that the Tractatus is a unbroken extension of the Cartesian empirical tradition). Gellner turns out to think in an osmosis concept of studying, given the shortcoming of proof that folks truly knew or believed issues, and so he consistently falls again on rules "being within the air" or issues that "surely everybody knew."
This is a few type of old Distance Fallacy. definitely nobody (no educational) might imagine it attainable to minimize the social, cultural, political problems with today's the USA to a definitive description just a couple of pages lengthy after which suppose that this description was once additionally an outline of the brain of a few randomly-chosen person. (And if this isn't acceptable to randomly-chosen members, then Gellner must make a few extra arguments as to why it applies to any particular person.)
The moment weak point is that i feel Gellner thoroughly misinterprets Wittgenstein's later paintings (i.e., the location he's taking in Philosophical Investigations). Gellner claims that Wittgenstein changed the logical atomism of the Tractatus with a cultural determinist/relativist place dependent in a romantic view of the peasantry. He believes despite his admission that Wittgenstein by no means said such things.
It turns out to me that the view within the Tractatus was once, as Gellner describes, one during which phrases restricted what the realm used to be. within the empiricist culture, essentially you cannot get past the phrases to the realm "itself." My view of the transition is that Wittgenstein shifted from this view (that phrases either created and restricted fact) to the concept that language used to be anything that individuals used as they interacted with the area. this can be a shift from "given that we all know we've language, what do we say in regards to the world?" to "given that we are living on this planet, what do we say approximately language?" the reason is, Wittgenstein turns out so passionate about instruments and workmen and it ties in to the tale informed in regards to the dialog he overheard at the educate during which a "meaningless" comment used to be understood and utilized in conversation.
Gellner turns out to imagine that the Philosophical Investigations does not enable for errors or critique, yet i feel that each one it excludes is philosophical critique of the type that philosophers like to have interaction during which permits them to declare that engineers or botanists or carpenters "don't understand anything."