Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality

Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality

by Jon Elster


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Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality by Jon Elster

Sour Grapes aims to subvert orthodox theories of rational choice through the study of forms of irrationality. Dr Elster begins with an analysis of the notion of rationality, to provide the background and terms for the subsequent discussions, which cover irrational behaviour, irrational desires and irrational belief.

These essays continue and complement the arguments of Jon Elster's earlier book, Ulysses and the Sirens. That was published to wide acclaim, and Dr Elster shows the same versatility here in drawing on philosophy, political and social theory, decision-theory, economics and psychology, as well as history and literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781316507001
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/26/2016
Series: Cambridge Philosophy Classics Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Jon Elster is Robert K. Merton Professor of the Social Sciences at Columbia University and Professeur Honoraire at the Coll�ge de France. He is the author or editor of thirty-four books on the philosophy of social science and rational choice theory, including Securities against Misrule: Juries, Assemblies, Elections (Cambridge, 2013) and Explaining Social Behavior: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences, 2nd edition (Cambridge, 2015).

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgementsvii
2Individual rationality: the thin theory2
3Individual rationality: the broad theory15
4Collective rationality: the thin theory26
5Collective rationality: the broad theory33
IIStates That are Essentially By-Products43
2Willing what cannot be willed44
3Technologies for self-management53
5Trying to impress66
7Choice and intention in art77
8The impotence of power86
9Self-defeating political theories91
10The obsessional search for meaning101
IIISour Grapes109
2A conceptual map111
3Power, freedom and welfare125
4Sour grapes and social choice133
IVBelief, Bias and Ideology141
2Situation-induced beliefs143
3Interest-induced beliefs148
4The benefits of bias157

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