David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 21 (1):5-37 (1991)
This article attempts to assess Jon Elster's contribution to rational choice in Ulysses and the Sirens and Sour Grapes. After reviewing Elster's analysis of functional versus intentional explanations, the essay moves on to the crucial distinction between the thin and broad theories of rationality. The former elabo rates on the traditional economist's preference / feasible set apparatus; the latter is the more demanding theory which inquires into the rationality of beliefs and preferences. Elster's approach to the broad theory normally consists in using the thin theory as a reference point and in making purposefully limited departures from it. The essay illustrates the method while commenting on Elster's discus sion of autonomous preferences in Sour Grapes. It goes on to stress some impor tant analogies between Elster's use of the thin and broad theories, on one hand, and Weber's ideal-typical method, on the other. The final assessment is phrased in terms of these analogies; it is suggested that Elster is at his best when the ideal-typical method and his own separate from each other, that is, when he comes to grips with the broad theory in its own terms.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Jonathan B. King (1994). Tools-Я-Us. Journal of Business Ethics 13 (4):243 - 257.
Jonathan B. King (1994). Tools-?-Us. Journal of Business Ethics 13 (4):243-257.
Similar books and articles
Jon Elster (2000). Ulysses Unbound: Studies in Rationality, Precommitment, and Constraints. Cambridge University Press.
Michael Dummett (1988). Foundations of Social Choice Theory, Jon Elster and Aanund Hylland, Editors. In Series Studies in Rationality and Social Change, Edited by Jon Elster and Gudmund Hernes. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986, 250 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 4 (1):177.
Kaisa Herne & Maija Setälä (2004). A Response to the Critique of Rational Choice Theory: Lakatos' and Laudan's Conceptions Applied. Inquiry 47 (1):67 – 85.
Tore Sandven (1995). Intentional Action and Pure Causality: A Critical Discussion of Some Central Conceptual Distinctions in the Work of Jon Elster. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (3):286-317.
Douglas Moggach (1991). Monadic Marxism: A Critique of Elster's Methodological Individualism. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 21 (1):38-63.
Aaron Wildavsky (1991). Can Norms Rescue Self‐Interest or Macro Explanation Be Joined to Micro Explanation? Critical Review 5 (3):301-323.
Tore Sandven (1999). Autonomy, Adaptation, and Rationality-a Critical Discussion of Jon Elster's Concept of "Sour Grapes," Part II. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (2):173-205.
Tore Sandven (1999). Autonomy, Adaptation, and Rationality a Critical Discussion of Jon Elster's Concept of "Sour Grapes". Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (1):3-31.
Jon Elster (1983). Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality. Editions De La Maison des Sciences De L'Homme.
Peter Stone (2003). The Impossibility of Rational Politics? Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (2):239-263.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads51 ( #65,640 of 1,724,878 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #349,126 of 1,724,878 )
How can I increase my downloads?