A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF HISTORICISM IN KARL MARX AND ERNEST GELLNER

Simeon Dimonye

Abstract


This study investigates the ways in which Marx’s conception of history differs from that of  Gellner.  In  doing  this,  their  implications  for  development  are  highlighted.  The  study shows that Marx stood the vision of Mankind’s history on its head; whereas, Gellner stood  it  on  itsfeet.  By  this  is  meant  that  Marx  rubbed  the  interpretation  of  human history  of  the  human  face  that  should  characterize  it;  whereas  Gellner,  on  the  contrary, tried to restore this in his own interpretation. The aim of this study is to compare Marx’s and Gellner’s historicism in order to determine their inherent strengths and weaknesses in view of a better interpretation of contemporary human history. This research serves as a  unique  way  of  evaluating  Marxism  from  critical  theoretical  standpoint.  Through expository, critical and analytical methods, the study was carried out.

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References


P. W. Preston, Development Theory: An Introduction(Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1996), 3.2.T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest(New York: Bantam Books, 1984), 217.3.Ibid., 218.4.Ibid., 217

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy CD-ROM, 2010 ed., s.v. “Historicism”.6.Stephan Körner, Fundamental Questions of Philosophy: One Philosopher’s Answers(England: The Penguin Press, 1969), 158-9.7.Egbeke Aja, Philosophy of History: Outline Notes for Beginners(Enugu: Auto-Century Publishing Co. Limited, 1995), 34-35.8.Ibid.9.Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto(England: Wordsworth Editions Limited, 2008), 14.10.Z. Berbeshrina, What is Historical Materialism? ABC of Social and Political Knowledge 7 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1985), 216.11.Ibid., 233.12.Ernest Gellner, Selected Philosophical Themes,Vol.2, Contemporary Thought and Politics (London: Routeledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1974), 111-112.13.Ibid., 113.14.Ernest Gellner, Selected Philosophical Themes, Vol.1, Cause and Meaning in the Social Sciences(London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1973), 1.15.Gellner, Selected Philosophical Themes, Vol.2, 114.16.Ibid., 115.17.Ibid., 117.18.Ibid.19.Ibid., 122.20.J.C.A. Agbakoba, Philosophical Issues in Development(Enugu, Nigeria: Fourth Dimension Publishing Co. Ltd., 2003), 1.21.Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre, 279-280.22.Ernest Gellner, Plough, Sword and Book: The Structure of Human History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 20.23.Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre, 290-91.24.Gellner, Plough, Sword and Book, 21.25.Ibid., 22.26.Agbakoba, Philsophical Issues in Development, 27-28.27.Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre, 297.28.Gellner, Plough, Sword and Book, 215.29.Ibid., 115.30.Ibid., 255

Patrick Gardiner, “History of Philosophy of History”, in Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed. Ted Honderich (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 360.32.Daniel J. Boorstin, The Seekers: The Story of Man’s Continuing Quest to Understand His World(New York: Random House, Inc., 1998), 190.33.Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto,15.34.V.I. Lenin, What the ‘Friends of the People’ Are and How They Fight the Social-Democrats(China: Foreign Languages Press, 1978), 7.35. Boorstin, The Seekers, 191.36. Steven Best, The Politics of Historical Vision: Marx, Foucault, Habermas(New York: The Gullford Press, 1995), 36.37. Gellner, Selected Philosophical Themes, Vol.2, 126.38. Ibid., 127.39. Ibid., 129.


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