Spectacles and Predicaments: Essays in Social Theory by Ernest Gellner
This collection of essays is concerned with philosophy, politics and society. The first group examines what philosophers such as Hegel, Wittgenstein and Chomsky have said or implied about the nature of society in general. A second group examines the cognitive predicament, questions concerning the nature of the possibility of knowledge, as handled by a thinker such as Descartes, or the Pragmatist tradition. The third group handles the political predicament and deals specifically with problems such as nationalism, the nature of the liberalisation process, the future of the welfare and consumer state and the option facing underdeveloped societies. The essays deal not only with classical theories concerning these problems but also with various recent discussions. The volume will interest many individual philosophers and social theorists and those with a more general interest in our culture and political discussions.