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Ian Jarvie

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Name  Ian Jarvie

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Education  London School of Economics and Political Science (1961)
Awards  Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada
Books  The Republic of Science, Hollywood's Overseas Campaig, The revolution in anthro, Concepts and society, Philosophy of the film
Similar People  Karl Popper, Joseph Agassi, John A Hall, Fred D'Agostino, Milton Friedman

Ian Charles Jarvie (born 8 July 1937) is a philosopher trained in England, long resident in Canada. Jarvie studied at the London School of Economics under Karl Popper. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and managing editor of the journal Philosophy of the Social Sciences.


The philosophy of social science and the movie industry are two of his main topics of research. He is a professor at York University in Toronto.

Jarvie's philosophical temperament is influenced by his former teacher, Karl Popper. Other influences include: David Hume, Bertrand Russell, and Ernest Gellner. Further, Jarvie's philosophical method owes a debt to training in social anthropology. In this vein, he has published anthropological work on the cargo cults of the South Pacific and has contributed anthropological studies on the media. His adherence to functionalism in the study of the social differs from that of Durkheim and his followers in his holding that knowledge and ideas must be presented as causal variables. Further, Jarvie contends, it must be the case that a functionalist framework with an active role for explanatory ideas requires a conception of rationality towards ideas. Politically, Jarvie is a liberal.

Major works

  • The Revolution in Anthropology, Routledge, 1967, ISBN 978-0-7100-3440-3 
  • Towards a Sociology of the Cinema, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970, ISBN 978-0-7100-6757-9 
  • Rationality and Relativism, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984, ISBN 978-0-7102-0078-5 
  • Thinking About Society: Theory and Practice, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 93, D. Reidel, 1986, ISBN 978-90-277-2068-9 
  • Philosophy of the Film: Epistemology, Ontology, Aesthetics, Routledge, 1987, ISBN 978-0-7102-1016-6 
  • Hollywood's Overseas Campaign: The North Atlantic Movie Trade, 1920-1950, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 978-0-521-04143-0 
  • The social philosophy of Ernest Gellner - co-edited with John A. Hall
  • The Republic of Science: the Emergence of Popper's Social View of Science, 1935-1945, Schriftenreihe zur Philosophie Karl R. Poppers und des kritischen Rationalismus, 15, Rodopi, 2001, ISBN 978-90-420-1515-9 
  • Online papers

    Index to Online Publications


    Ian Jarvie Wikipedia