Ernest Gellner (1925 - 1995) was one of the major thinkers of the twentieth century. He held major chairs in philosophy, sociology and social anthropology during his distinguished career and contributed to a wide range of political and philosophical debates, most tably in linguistic philosophy, the theory of political nationalism and the theory of history. Gellner was also an outspoken defender of the Enlightenment tradition and social democracy. In Ernest Gellner and Modernity, Michael Lessff presents a lucid and coherent exposition of Gellner's thought, both in terms of the specific areas in which he worked and the underlying consistency of his theoretical principles. Lessff provides a context within which to evaluate Gellner's contribution to social and political thought and, in keeping with the aims of the series, demonstrates the importance of Gellner's work for contemporary political philosophy.
Michael Lessnoff is Reader in Politics at the University of Glasgow.