Reason in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of Social Scienceby Martin Hollis
Pub. Date: 10/28/2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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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Table of Contents1. 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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