Ernest Gellner’s Use of the Social Sciences in Philosophy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


It is well known that Ernest Gellner made substantial use of his knowledge of the social sciences in philosophy. Here I discuss how he used it on the basis of a few examples taken from Gellner’s philosophical output. It is argued that he made a number of highly original “translations”, or re-interpretations, of philosophical theories and problems using his knowledge of the social sciences. While this method is endorsed, it is also argued that some of Gellner’s translations crossed the line between the original and the idiosyncratic.


  • Stefan Schubert
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy


  • Philosophy of Social Sciences, Ernest Gellner, Karl Popper, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Logical Positivism, Linguistic Philosophy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
JournalPhilosophy of the Social Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch