Reason in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of Social Science / Edition 1

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Did Adam and Eve act rationally in eating the fruit of the forbidden tree? That can seem to depend solely on whether they had found the best means to their ends, in the spirit of the "economic" theories of rationality. In these essays, culled in revised form from twenty-five years' work, Martin Hollis argues that social action cannot be understood by viewing human beings as abstract individuals with preferences in search of satisfaction, or by divorcing practical reason from questions of the rationality of norms, principles, practices and ends.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hollis's thoughtful and provocative essays will reward anyone interested in these and other topics addressed in this volume." International Philosophical Quarterly

"Martin Hollis has made significant contributions over many years to the theory of rationality and the role of this concept within the human sciences. Hollis's signal contribution is his persistent effort to bring these questions back to philosophy, and to locate the points of intersection between the theory of rationality and a host of important philosophical issues....Reason in Action is a highly successful volume which will reward the attention of a wide audience of philosophers and social scientists. Hollis sheds important light on foundational problems in the human sciences through his developed discussion of issues of individual rationality, cross-cultural standards of rationality, and standards of interpretation of human action." Daniel Little, Ethics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521447799
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Prologue: reason in action; Part I. Rational Choice: 2. Three men in a drought; 3. Rational preferences; 4. The ant and the grasshopper; 5. Moves and motives; 6. A rational agent's gotta do what a rational agent's gotta do!; Part II. Roles and Reasons: 7. Of masks and men; 8. Honour among thieves; 9. Dirty hands; 10. A death of one's own; 11. Friends, Romans and consumers; Part III. Other Cultures, Other Minds: 12. The limits of irrationality; 13. Reason and ritual; 14. The social destruction of reality; 15. Hook, line and sinker; 16. Say it with flowers; 17. Reasons of honour.

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