Autonomy, adaptation, and rationality a critical discussion of Jon Elster's concept of "sour grapes"
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (1):3-31 (1999)
This article argues against Jon Elster's contention that there is a fundamental incompatibility between, on the one hand, autonomy and rationality, and, on the other hand, adaptation to the conditions of one's existence in the sense that one's desires or preferences are adjusted to what it is possible to achieve. It is claimed that Elster's conclusions are premised on a defective conception of human faculties and powers, including a defective conception of human experience and rationality. Moreover, the claim is made that these defects are also characteristic of "rational choice theory" more generally.
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