My purpose in reading this book is, generally, to help me in the development of my own position on the nature of analytic philosophy, and also to see whether I can glean anything from Gellner for my discussion of rationality.
Gellner approaches this subject as a philosophical sociologist well read in "linguistic" philosophy but antagonistic to it.
His critique shows little sign of interest in sifting out the good from the bad to make a future for philosophical analysis.
His critique is wide ranging, covering not only the later work of Wittgenstein and the Oxford "revolution" which was so profoundly influenced by it, but the earlier work on logical atomism and logical positivism.
It is hard to see where this critique might end, and tempting to suppose that most of the other philosophers posthumously co-opted into analytic philosophy (e.g. Hume) might also have been condemned if they had not lived too early to be within the scope of the book.
My own interest, by contrast, is constructive.
It comes from a transition which I am now engaged in, from sidestep to confrontation.
I have hitherto largely ignored those aspects of philosophical analysis which seem to me irrelevant to my enterprise, but I am now seeking to confront the recent history of philosophical analysis.
I aim to use this as a lever for articulating my own developing view of what can be achieved by the right kind of analytic philosophy.
These notes are intended simply to help me with this purpose.