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Author Hollis, Martin.

Title Reason in action : essays in the philosophy of social science / Martin Hollis.

Published Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  300.1 HOLL    AVAILABLE
Physical description ix, 283 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents 1. Prologue: reason in action -- 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! -- II. Roles and Reasons. 7. Of masks and men. 8. Honour among thieves. 9. Dirty hands. 10. Friends, Romans and Consumers. 11. A death of one's own -- 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.
Summary 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. Martin Hollis respects the elegance and power of these theories but judges their paradoxes endemic. He argues that social action cannot be understood by viewing human beings as abstract individuals with preferences in search of satisfaction, nor by divorcing practical reason from questions of the rationality of norms, principles, practices and ends. These essays, focused on the themes of 'rational choice', 'roles and reason' and 'other cultures, other minds', make the point and explore alternative approaches. Culled in revised form from twenty-five years' work, they range across periods and disciplines with a philosophical imagination and vivid prose, which will engage philosophers and social scientists alike.
Subject Social sciences -- Philosophy.
ISBN 052144263X (hardback)
0521447798 (pbk.)