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Grant number like: FB-52939-07

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John Anthony Hall
Trustees of Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH 03755-1808)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2007 – 6/30/2008

An Intellectual Biography of Ernest Andre Gellner

Ernest Gellner (1925-95) was a major theorist of modernity. A German, Jewish and Czech childhood in Prague was disrupted by Nazism and exile. Participation in world war was followed by the advent of communism which led to long term exile in Britain, followed by a return to Prague after 1989. I apply for funds to conclude the first account of the life and of the social theory to which it led, based on interviews and on the rich Gellner Archive. The book stresses that there is a metaphysic underlying Gellner's distinct reputations as theorist of nationalism, Islam, liberalism, psychoanalysis, science and the rise of the West. If an element of originality is that of identifying the metaphysic, another is that of subjecting it to criticism.