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Reason and Rationality

Reason and Rationality

Jon Elster
Translated by Steven Rendall
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 88
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  • Book Info
    Reason and Rationality
    Book Description:

    One of the world's most important political philosophers, Jon Elster is a leading thinker on reason and rationality and their roles in politics and public life. In this short book, he crystallizes and advances his work, bridging the gap between philosophers who use the idea of reason to assess human behavior from a normative point of view and social scientists who use the idea of rationality to explain behavior. In place of these approaches, Elster proposes a unified conceptual framework for the study of behavior.

    Drawing on classical moralists as well as modern scholarship, and using a wealth of historical and contemporary illustrations,Reason and Rationalitymarks a new development in Elster's thinking while at the same time providing a brief, elegant, and accessible introduction to his work.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3317-7
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. Reason and Rationality
    (pp. 1-68)

    In analytical approaches to human behaviors, the same Latin word,ratio,is at the root of two intellectual traditions that are at once very different and interconnected.

    On the one hand, there is the tradition that opposes reason to the passions and, more recently, to interests. Seneca’s treatiseOn Anger, for instance, is organized around the opposition between reason and passion, whereas the French moralists of the seventeenth century added the notion of self-interest. La Bruyère, in a famous passage, summed up their mutual relationships this way: “Nothing is easier for passion than to overcome reason, but its greatest triumph...

    (pp. 69-76)
  5. Back Matter
    (pp. 77-79)