Explaining Social Behavior

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107071186
Release Date: 2015-07-30
Genre: Political Science

A substantially revised edition of Jon Elster's critically acclaimed book exploring the nature of social behavior and the social sciences.

Sour Grapes

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107142022
Release Date: 2016-08-31
Genre: Philosophy

Drawing on philosophy, political and social theory, decision-theory, economics, psychology, history and literature, Jon Elster's classic book Sour Grapes continues and complements the arguments of his acclaimed earlier book, Ulysses and the Sirens. Elster begins with an analysis of the notation of rationality, before tackling the notions of irrational behavior, desires and belief with highly sophisticated arguments that subvert the orthodox theories of rational choice. Presented in a fresh series livery and with a specially commissioned preface written by Richard Holton, illuminating its continuing importance to philosophical enquiry, Sour Grapes has been revived for a new generation of readers.

Alchemies of the Mind

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521644879
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Philosophy

Jon Elster has written a comprehensive, wide-ranging book on the emotions in which he considers the full range of theoretical approaches. Drawing on history, literature, philosophy and psychology, Elster presents a complete account of the role of the emotions in human behaviour. While acknowledging the importance of neurophysiology and laboratory experiment for the study of emotions, Elster argues that the serious student of the emotions can learn more from the great thinkers and writers of the past, from Aristotle to Jane Austen. He attaches particular importance to the work of the French moralists, notably La Rochefoucauld, who demonstrated the way esteem and self-esteem shape human motivation. The book also maintains a running dialogue with economists and rational-choice theorists. Combining methodological and theoretical arguments with empirical case-studies and written with Elster's customary verve and economy, this book has great cross-disciplinary appeal.

Making Sense of Marx

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521297052
Release Date: 1985-05-09
Genre: Philosophy

A critical examination of the social theories of Karl Marx.

Ulysses Unbound

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521665612
Release Date: 2000-03-28
Genre: Philosophy

This volume argues that people may benefit from being constrained in their options or from being ignorant. The three essays that constitute this book revise and expand the ideas developed in Jon Elster's study "Ulysses and the Sirens". The author aims to show how seemingly disparate examples which limit freedom of action reveal similar patterns, so much so that he proposes a new field of study: constraint theory.

Rational Choice

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814721698
Release Date: 1986-11-01
Genre: Philosophy

This series brings together a carefully edited selection of the most influential and enduring articles on central topics in social and political theory. Each volume contains ten to twelve articles and an introductory essay by the editor.

An Introduction to Karl Marx

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 052133831X
Release Date: 1986-07-25
Genre: History

A concise and comprehensive introduction to Marx's social, political and economic thought for the beginning student. Jon Elster surveys in turn each of the main themes of marxist thought: methodology, alienation, economics, exploitation, historical materialism, classes, politics, and ideology; in a final chapter he assesses 'what is living and what is dead in the philosophy of Marx'. The emphasis throughout is on the analytical structure of Marx's arguments and the approach is at once sympathetic, undogmatic, and rigorous.

Alexis de Tocqueville the First Social Scientist

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521518444
Release Date: 2009-04-27
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Arguing that Tocqueville was fundamentally a social scientist rather than a political theorist, Elster emphasises Tocqueville's substantive and methodological insights.

Solomonic Judgements

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521376084
Release Date: 1989-07-28
Genre: Mathematics

A collection of essays on rationality - its scope, its limitations and its failures.

The Multiple Self

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521346835
Release Date: 1987-07-31
Genre: Philosophy

The essays in this volume consider the question of whether the self is a unity or whether it should be conceived without metaphor as divided--as a "multiple self." The issue is a central one for several disciplines. It bears directly on the account of rationality and the explanation of individual decision-making and behavior. Is the hypothesis of a multiple self required to deal with the problems of self-deception and weakness of will; and can the conceptual tools developed in the study of interpersonal conflict be applied to the analysis of intra-personal struggle? The essays, by a number of leading philosophers, psychologists, and economists, were all commissioned for this volume.

Securities Against Misrule

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107031739
Release Date: 2013-04-22
Genre: Political Science

It is often argued that democratic institutions should be designed to produce good outcomes, assuming that we know what good outcomes are and which institutions will track them. This book denies both assumptions. The idea of the general interest is ill-defined and our understanding of social causality is fragile. Instead, one should reduce as much as possible the impact of self-interest, passion, prejudice, and bias on the decision makers, and then let the chips fall where they may. In addition to making novel theoretical proposals, this book discusses a welter of case studies and historical episodes.

Closing the Books

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521548543
Release Date: 2004-09-06
Genre: Law

An analysis of transitional justice - retribution and reparation after a change of political regime - from Athens in the fifth century BC to the present. Part I, 'The Universe of Transitional Justice', describes more than thirty transitions, some of them in considerable detail, others more succinctly. Part II, 'The Analytics of Transitional Justice', proposes a framework for explaining the variations among the cases - why after some transitions wrongdoers from the previous regime are punished severely and in other cases mildly or not at all, and victims sometimes compensated generously and sometimes poorly or not at all. After surveying a broad range of justifications and excuses for wrongdoings and criteria for selecting and indemnifying victims, the 2004 book concludes with a discussion of three general explanatory factors: economic and political constraints, the retributive emotions, and the play of party politics.

Happy Accidents

Author: Morton A. Meyers
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 9781611451627
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Medical

A fascinating and highly accessible look at the surprising role serendipity has played in some of the most important medical discoveries in the twentieth century.

The Art of Social Theory

Author: Richard Swedberg
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400850358
Release Date: 2014-08-10
Genre: Social Science

In the social sciences today, students are taught theory by reading and analyzing the works of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and other foundational figures of the discipline. What they rarely learn, however, is how to actually theorize. The Art of Social Theory is a practical guide to doing just that. In this one-of-a-kind user's manual for social theorists, Richard Swedberg explains how theorizing occurs in what he calls the context of discovery, a process in which the researcher gathers preliminary data and thinks creatively about it using tools such as metaphor, analogy, and typology. He guides readers through each step of the theorist’s art, from observation and naming to concept formation and explanation. To theorize well, you also need a sound knowledge of existing social theory. Swedberg introduces readers to the most important theories and concepts, and discusses how to go about mastering them. If you can think, you can also learn to theorize. This book shows you how. Concise and accessible, The Art of Social Theory features helpful examples throughout, and also provides practical exercises that enable readers to learn through doing.

Dissecting the Social

Author: Peter Hedstrom
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139447335
Release Date: 2005-11-10
Genre: Social Science

Over the past few decades serious reservations have been expressed about the explanatory power of sociological theory and research. In this important book, leading social theorist Peter Hedström outlines the foundations of an analytically oriented sociology that seeks to address this criticism. Building on his earlier influential contributions to contemporary debates, Professor Hedström argues for a systematic development of sociological theory so that it has the explanatory power and precision to inform sociological research and understanding. He discusses various mechanisms of action and interaction and shows how strong links can be forged between the micro and the macro, and between theory and empirical research. Combining approaches to theory and methodology and using extensive examples to illustrate how they might be applied, this clear, concise and original book will appeal to a broad range of social scientists.