Gellnerovo pojetí modernity

Jiří Musil

(Gellner’s Conception of Modernity)


zveřejněno 12.10.2017 
klíčová slova: epistemological; historical and sociological pillars of modernity; the role of science in modernity; disenchantment of the world

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  • Gellner’s theory of modernity is a complex structure, it matured several decades and during this process he modified some of its elements. The following interpretation of his theory is based on the analysis of three pillars of his thought, first on his epistemological axioms, second on his concept of philosophy of human history and third on his conception of social theory. Gellner’s theory of knowledge is a cluster composed of classical empiricism, kantian rationalism, enriched by weberian understanding of historical modifications of rationalism in modern times. Gellner adds to these two pillars his concept of cultural perspectivism and his interpretation of evolutionism, so called truncated evolutionism that concentrates on the emergence of modernity. Gellner’s philosophy of history is based on his analysis of interaction between three basic functional entities of all human societies: economy, power, knowledge. Gellner rather carefully analyzed as well the relationship between the role of material and ideational factors in human history, and between sociological analyses based on causal. In his view sociology has to use both approaches. Gellner is stressing the fact that to the most important elements of modernity belongs science, but at the same time he is fully aware of the fact that science can not tell us “what to do”. Here he follows Max Weber’s thesis on the disenchantment as an element of modernity.