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  1. Autonomy, Adaptation, and Rationality—A Critical Discussion of Jon Elster’s Concept of “Sour Grapes,” Part I.Tore Sandven - 1999 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (1):3-31.
    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 (...)
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  • Irrational Intentionality.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - manuscript
    There at least three ways of thinking about rationality: instrumental, substantive, and intentional. By far, the instrumental account is most influential. This essay proposes that intentional rationality can provide substantive accounts with room to breathe, and in a way that is facially distinct from instrumental accounts. I suggest that the intentionality of a judgment is made up of what it is about and the orientation through which it is judged, while irrationality is the subversion of a strict supporting connection between (...)
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  • Autonomy, Adaptation, and Rationality—A Critical Discussion of Jon Elster’s Concept of “Sour Grapes,” Part II.Tore Sandven - 1999 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (2):173-205.
    This paper argues against Jon Elster's contention that there is a fundamentalincompatibility between, on one hand, autonomy and rationality and, on theother hand, adaptation to conditions of one's existence in the sense that one'sdesires or preferences are adjusted to what it is possible to achieve. While thefirst part of the paper more narrowly concentrated on Elster's discussion ofthese ideas, this second part goes on to a more general discussion of the conceptof rationality. On the basis of this discussion, it is (...)
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  • Autonomy and Adaptive Preferences.Ben Colburn - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (1):52-71.
    Adaptive preference formation is the unconscious altering of our preferences in light of the options we have available. Jon Elster has argued that this is bad because it undermines our autonomy. I agree, but think that Elster's explanation of why is lacking. So, I draw on a richer account of autonomy to give the following answer. Preferences formed through adaptation are characterized by covert influence (that is, explanations of which an agent herself is necessarily unaware), and covert influence undermines our (...)
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