Reason in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of Social Science

Cambridge University Press (1996)
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 reasons' and 'other cultures, other minds', make the point and explore alternative approaches. Culled in revised form from twenty-five years' work, the essays range across periods and disciplines with a philosophical imagination and vivid prose, which will engage philosophers and social scientists alike.
Keywords Social sciences Philosophy
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Call number H61.H666 1996
ISBN(s) 0521447798   9780521447799  
DOI 10.1086/233795
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Steve Smith (2001). Many (Dirty) Hands Make Light Work: Martin Hollis's Account of Social Action. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 4 (4):123-148.
Susan Mendus (2014). Professor Waldron Goes to Washington. Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (1):123-134.
Timothy O'hagan (2001). Hollis, Rousseau and Gyges' Ring. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 4 (4):55-68.
Robert Sugden (2001). The Bond of Society: Reason or Sentiment? Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 4 (4):149-170.

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