Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 3, 1985 - Philosophy - 177 pages
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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 notation 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.
 

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Contents

RATIONALITY
1
the thin theory
2
the broad theory
15
the thin theory
26
the broad theory
33
STATES THAT ARE ESSENTIALLY BYPRODUCTS
43
2 Willing what cannot be willed
44
3 Technologies for selfmanagement
53
9 Selfdefeating political theories
91
10 The obsessional search for meaning
101
SOUR GRAPES
109
2 A conceptual map
111
3 Power freedom and welfare
125
4 Sour grapes and social choice
133
BELIEF BIAS AND IDEOLOGY
141
2 Situationinduced beliefs
143

4 Commands
60
5 Trying to impress
66
6 Faking
71
7 Choice and intention in art
77
8 The impotence of power
86
3 Interestinduced beliefs
148
4 The benefits of bias
157
References
167
Index
176
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