Choice and Consequence / Edition 1

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Overview

Thomas Schelling is a political economist "conspicuous for wandering" an errant economist. In Choice and Consequence, he ventures into the area where rationality is ambiguous in order to look at the tricks people use to try to quit smoking or lose weight. He explores topics as awesome as nuclear terrorism, as sordid as blackmail, as ineffable as daydreaming, as intimidating as euthanasia. He examines ethical issues wrapped up in economics, unwrapping the economics to disclose ethical issues that are misplaced or misidentified.

With an ingenious, often startling approach Schelling brings new perspectives to problems ranging from drug abuse, abortion, and the value people put on their lives to organized crime, airplane hijacking, and automobile safety. One chapter is a clear and elegant exposition of game theory as a framework for analyzing social problems. Another plays with the hypothesis that our minds are not only our problem-solving equipment but also the organ in which much of our consumption takes place.

What binds together the different subjects is the author's belief in the possibility of simultaneously being humane and analytical, of dealing with both the momentous and the familiar. Choice and Consequence was written for the curious, the puzzled, the worried, and all those who appreciate intellectual adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
Whether one is looking for evidence and insights on the rationality or the irrationality of man, Choice and Consequence is one of the very best places to look...Mr. Schelling's book is a superb place to get a sense of both the need for and the dangers of the assumption of rationality.
The New Republic
What makes Schelling such a pleasure to read, apart from his lean, clear, wry conversational style, is the shrewdness and human insight with which he breaks down complex problems and phenomena into their parts, permitting systematic understanding to develop.
Wall St. Journal
Without exception, the essays are witty, erudite and stimulating.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674127715
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 379
  • Sales rank: 813,783
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas C. Schelling is Distinguished University Professor, Department of Economics and School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland and Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus, Harvard University. He is co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics.
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Table of Contents

1. Economic Reasoning and the Ethics of Policy

2. Command and Control

3. The Intimate Contest for Self-Command

4. Ethics, Law, and the Exercise of Self-Command

5. The Life You Save May Be Your Own

6. Strategic Relationships in Dying

7. Economics and Criminal Enterprise

8. What Is the Business of Organized Crime?

9. Strategic Analysis and Social Problems

10. What Is Game Theory?

11. A Framework for the Evaluation of Arms Proposals

12. The Strategy of Inflicting Costs

13. Who Will Have the Bomb?

14. Thinking about Nuclear Terrorism

15. The Mind as a Consuming Organ

Notes

Sources

Index

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