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  1. Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality.Jon Elster - 1983 - Editions De La Maison des Sciences De L'Homme.
    Sour Grapes aims to subvert orthodox theories of rational choice through the study of forms of irrationality. Dr Elster begins with an analysis of the notation of rationality, to provide the background and terms for the subsequent discussions, which cover irrational behaviour, irrational desires and irrational belief. These essays continue and complement the arguments of Jon Elster's earlier book, Ulysses and the Sirens. That was published to wide acclaim, and Dr Elster shows the same versatility here in drawing on philosophy, (...)
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  2.  89
    Explaining Social Behavior: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences.Jon Elster - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book is an expanded and revised edition of the author's critically acclaimed volume Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. In twenty-six succinct chapters, Jon Elster provides an account of the nature of explanation in the social sciences. He offers an overview of key explanatory mechanisms in the social sciences, relying on hundreds of examples and drawing on a large variety of sources - psychology, behavioral economics, biology, political science, historical writings, philosophy and fiction. Written in accessible and jargon-free (...)
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  3. Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences.Jon Elster - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
    This 1989 book is intended as an introductory survey of the philosophy of the social sciences. It is essentially a work of exposition which offers a toolbox of mechanisms - nuts and bolts, cogs and wheels - that can be used to explain complex social phenomena. Within a brief compass, Jon Elster covers a vast range of topics. His point of departure is the conflict we all face between our desires and our opportunities. How can rational choice theory help us (...)
     
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  4. Ulysses and the Sirens: Studies in Rationality and Irrationality.Jon Elster (ed.) - 1979 - Editions De La Maison des Sciences De L'Homme.
    This book was first published in 1984, as the revised edition of a 1979 original. The text is composed of studies in a descending sequence from perfect rationality, through imperfect and problematical rationality, to irrationality. Specifically human rationality is characterized by its capacity to relate strategically to the future, in contrast to the myopic 'gradient climbing' of natural selection. There is trenchant analysis of some of the parallels proposed in this connection between the biological and the social sciences. In the (...)
     
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  5.  59
    Explaining Technical Change: A Case Study in the Philosophy of Science.Jon Elster - 1983 - Universitetsforlaget.
    In this volume, first published in 1983, Jon Elster approaches the study of technical change from an epistemological perspective.
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  6. Ulysses and the Sirens.Jon Elster - 1986 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 15 (1):82-95.
  7. Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality.Jon Elster - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    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, (...)
     
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  8. Ulysses and the Sirens: Studies in Rationality and Irrationality.Jon Elster - 1979 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 48 (4):650-651.
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  9. Alchemies of the Mind: Rationality and the Emotions.Jon Elster - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
    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 (...)
     
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  10. The Market and the Forum: Three Varieties of Political Theory.Jon Elster - 2003 - In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Debates in Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Anthology. Routledge, in Association with the Open University.
  11. Solomonic Judgements Studies in the Limitations of Rationality.Jon Elster - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
    This volume of essays is very much a sequel to the two earlier collections by Jon Elster, Ulysses and the Sirens and Sour Grapes. His topic is rationality - its scope, its limitations, and its failures. Elster considers rational responses to the insufficiency of reason itself, and to the 'indeterminacies' in deploying rational-choice theory and discusses the irrationality of not seeing when, where, and what these are. A key essay which gives the collection its title examines disputes in cases of (...)
     
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  12.  8
    Ulysses Unbound: Studies in Rationality, Precommitment, and Constraints.Jon Elster - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    Common sense suggests that it is always preferable to have more options than fewer, and better to have more knowledge than less. This provocative book argues that, very often, common sense fails. Sometimes it is simply the case that less is more; people may benefit from being constrained in their options or from being ignorant. The three long essays that constitute this book revise and expand the ideas developed in Jon Elster's classic study Ulysses and the Sirens. It is not (...)
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  13.  21
    Explaining Technical Change.Jon Elster - 1984 - Ethics 94 (4):680-700.
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  14.  16
    [Book Review] Alchemies of the Mind, Rationality and the Emotions. [REVIEW]Jon Elster - 1999 - Ethics 112 (2):371-375.
    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 (...)
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  15. Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory: A Case for Methodological Individualism.Jon Elster - 2003 - In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Theory and Society. Routledge, in Association with the Open University. pp. 453.
  16. Weakness of Will and the Free-Rider Problem.Jon Elster - 1985 - Economics and Philosophy 1 (2):231-265.
    The study of intrapersonal economic relations, or economics , is still at the programmatic stage. There is no generally accepted paradigm, or even as well-defined set of problems that constitute it as a subdiscipline within economics. Some questions are, however, emerging as foci of interest for a small but increasing number of writers, not just in economics, but also in psychology and philosophy. The writings of Thomas Schelling on self-management, of George Ainslie on self-control, and of Derik Parfit on personal (...)
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  17.  56
    Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory: The Case for Methodological Individualism.Jon Elster - 1982 - Theory and Society 11 (4):453.
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  18.  57
    The Multiple Self.Jon Elster (ed.) - 1985 - Cambridge University Press.
    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 behaviour. 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 (...)
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  19.  33
    [Book Review] Local Justice, How Institutions Allocate Scarce Goods and Necessary Burdens. [REVIEW]Jon Elster - 1996 - Ethics 106 (2):459-461.
  20. Norms of Revenge.Jon Elster - 1990 - Ethics 100 (4):862-885.
  21. Logic and Society Contradictions and Possible Worlds.Jon Elster - 1978
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  22. Self-Realization in Work and Politics: The Marxist Conception of the Good Life.Jon Elster - 1986 - Social Philosophy and Policy 3 (2):97.
    In arguments in support of capitalism, the following propositions are sometimes advanced or presupposed: the best life for the individual is one of consumption, understood in a broad sense that includes aesthetic pleasures and entertainment as well as consumption of goods in the ordinary sense; consumption is to be valued because it promotes happiness or welfare, which is the ultimate good; since there are not enough opportunities for consumption to provide satiation for everybody, some principles of distributive justice must be (...)
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  23.  68
    Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being.Jon Elster & John E. Roemer (eds.) - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this volume a diverse group of economists, philosophers, political scientists, and psychologists address the problems, principles, and practices involved in comparing the well-being of different individuals. A series of questions lie at the heart of this investigation: What is the relevant concept of well-being for the purposes of comparison? How could the comparisons be carried out for policy purposes? How are such comparisons made now? How do the difficulties involved in these comparisons affect the status of utilitarian theories? This (...)
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  24. Comment on van der Veen and Van Parijs.Jon Elster - 1986 - Theory and Society 15 (5):709-721.
  25. Hard and Soft Obscurantism in the Humanities and Social Sciences.Jon Elster - 2011 - Diogenes 58 (1-2):159-170.
  26. The Nature and Scope of Rational-Choice Explanations.Jon Elster - 1985 - In Ernest LePore & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.). Blackwell. pp. 60-72.
     
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  27.  32
    Reason and Rationality.Jon Elster - 2008 - Princeton University Press.
    "--Daniel Weinstock, University of Montreal "This short book presents a broad synthesis of Jon Elster's work on reason and rationality, and their complex relations to interest and passion.
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  28. Rationality and the Emotions.Jon Elster - 1996 - Economic Journal 106:1386-97.
    In an earlier paper (Elster, 1989 a), I discussed the relation between rationality and social norms. Although I did mention the role of the emotions in sustaining social norms, I did not focus explicitly on the relation between rationality and the emotions. That relation is the main topic of the present paper, with social norms in a subsidiary part.
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  29. Rationality, Morality, and Collective Action.Jon Elster - 1985 - Ethics 96 (1):136-155.
  30. Rationality, Emotions, and Social Norms.Jon Elster - 1994 - Synthese 98 (1):21 - 49.
  31. Belief, Bias, and Ideology.Jon Elster - 1982 - In Martin Hollis & Steven Lukes (eds.), Rationality and Relativism. MIT Press. pp. 123--148.
     
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  32. Emotional Choice and Rational Choice.Jon Elster - 2009 - In Peter Goldie (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford University Press.
     
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  33.  14
    Ulysses and the Sirens: A Theory of Imperfect Rationality.Jon Elster - 1977 - Social Science Information 16 (5):469-526.
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  34. Foundations of Social Choice Theory.Jon Elster & Aanund Hylland - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
    The essays in this volume, first published in 1986, examine the philosophical foundations of social choice theory. This field, a modern and sophisticated outgrowth of welfare economics, is best known for a series of impossibility theorems, of which the first and most crucial was proved by Kenneth Arrow in 1950. That has often been taken to show the impossibility of democracy as a procedure for making collective decisions. However, this interpretation is challenged by several of the contributors here. Other central (...)
     
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  35.  32
    Self-Realization in Work and Politics: The Marxist Conception of the Good Life: Jon Elster.Jon Elster - 1986 - Social Philosophy and Policy 3 (2):97-126.
    In arguments in support of capitalism, the following propositions are sometimes advanced or presupposed: the best life for the individual is one of consumption, understood in a broad sense that includes aesthetic pleasures and entertainment as well as consumption of goods in the ordinary sense; consumption is to be valued because it promotes happiness or welfare, which is the ultimate good; since there are not enough opportunities for consumption to provide satiation for everybody, some principles of distributive justice must be (...)
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  36. Utilitarianism and the Genesis of Wants.Jon Elster & Sour Grapes - 1982 - In Amartya Kumar Sen & Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (eds.), Utilitarianism and Beyond. Cambridge University Press. pp. 219--238.
     
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  37.  12
    Local Justice and Interpersonal Comparisons.Jon Elster - 1991 - In Jon Elster & John E. Roemer (eds.), Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being. Cambridge University Press. pp. 98--126.
  38.  1
    Enthusiasm and Anger in History.Jon Elster - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (3):249-307.
    ABSTRACT The article aims at contributing to the unification of history and psychology by studying the expressions of anger and enthusiasm in several historical contexts. These mainly include France and America in the eighteenth century, but also more recent episodes of transitional justice. In addition it aims at drawing the attention of psychologist to the understudied emotion of enthusiasm. To this end, it also considers how Hume and Kant treated this emotion.
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  39. Constitutionalism and Democracy.Jon Elster & Rune Slagstad (eds.) - 1993 - Cambridge University Press.
    The eleven essays in this volume, supplemented by an editorial introduction, centre around three overlapping problems. First, why would a society want to limit its own sovereign power by imposing constitutional constraints on democratic decision-making? Second, what are the contributions of democracy and constitutions to efficient government? Third, what are the relations among democracy, constitutionalism, and private property? This comprehensive discussion of the problems inherent in constitutional democracy will be of interest to students in a variety of social sciences. It (...)
     
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  40.  19
    [Book Review] Political Psychology. [REVIEW]Jon Elster - 1994 - Ethics 105 (1):183-185.
    This provocative new textbook takes up and develops the themes of rationality and irrationality in Jon Elster's earlier work. Its purposes are threefold. First, Elster shows how belief and preference formation in the realm of politics are shaped by social and political institutions. Second, he argues for an important distinction in the social sciences between mechanisms and theories. Third, he illustrates those general principles of political psychology through readings of three outstanding political psychologists: the French classical historian, Paul Veyne; the (...)
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  41. From Here to There; or, If Cooperative Ownership Is So Desirable, Why Are There So Few Cooperatives?Jon Elster - 1989 - Social Philosophy and Policy 6 (2):93.
    In this paper I want to discuss a well-known but poorly understood problem: how can socialists reconcile the observed paucity of cooperatives in capitalist societies with their alleged superiority on normative grounds? If cooperatives are so desirable, why don't workers desire them? If one's ideal of socialism is central planning, it is clear enough that it cannot emerge gradually within the womb of the capitalist economy. If instead it is something like market socialism, it is not clear that a discontinuous (...)
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  42.  33
    Ideology and Dystopia.Jon Elster & Hélène Landemore - 2008 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 20 (3):273-289.
    Bryan Caplan’s Myth of the Rational Voter is deeply ideological and conceptually confused. His book is shaped by pro‐market and pro‐expert biases and anti‐democratic attitudes, leading to one‐sided and conclusion‐driven arguments. His notion that voters are rationally irrational when they hold anti‐market and anti‐trade beliefs is incoherent, as is his idea that sociotropic voting can be explained as the rational purchase of a good self‐image.
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  43. An Introduction to Karl Marx.Jon Elster - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.
    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.
     
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  44.  71
    Urgency.Jon Elster - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (4):399 – 411.
    It is generally recognized that emotional states induce impatience, in the sense of a heightened preference for early rewards over later rewards. In this article I argue that they also induce urgency, in the sense of a preference for early action over later action. I adduce scattered evidence for the existence of the phenomenon and sketch a possible experiment that might demonstrate it, while also noting that it may be hard to distinguish urgency-based action from action based on the anticipation (...)
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  45.  73
    A Note on Hysteresis in the Social Sciences. [REVIEW]Jon Elster - 1976 - Synthese 33 (1):371-391.
  46.  54
    Addiction: Entries and Exits.Jon Elster (ed.) - 1999 - Russell Sage Publications.
    Chapter 1 Disordered Appetites: Addiction, Compulsion, and Dependence Gary Watson In both popular and technical discussion, addictive behavior is said to be ...
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  47.  37
    The Possibility of Rational Politics.Jon Elster - 1986 - Critica 18 (54):17-62.
  48.  2
    Collective Action in America Before 1787.Jon Elster - 2018 - In Thomas Christiano, Ingrid Creppell & Jack Knight (eds.), Morality, Governance, and Social Institutions: Reflections on Russell Hardin. Springer Verlag. pp. 157-195.
    Honoring Russell Hardin’s seminal contributions to the study of collective action, this paper describes several collective action problems faced by the citizens of American colonies and states in the years leading up to 1787, and demonstrates how they occasionally and temporarily managed to overcome them. In particular, the paper considers the cooperative or non-cooperative behavior of colonies and states in three arenas: contributions of soldiers and money in wars; participation in the non-importation, non-exportation, and non-consumption movements directed against Great Britain; (...)
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  49.  43
    Review: A Note on Hysteresis in the Social Sciences. [REVIEW]Jon Elster - 1976 - Synthese 33 (2/4):371 - 391.
  50.  48
    Alchemies of the Mind: Rationality and the Emotions.Robert C. Solomon & Jon Elster - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (1):104.
    This is perhaps the richest book on emotions I have read. It is also a very frustrating book. It appears to be—and Elster more or less suggests this—a series of quite different kinds of essays, connected by somewhat confusing cross references and a general concern for the nature of emotions and their transformations. The first chapter is a position paper on explanation in the social sciences, a plea for “mechanisms” as opposed to law-like principles and straightforward causal accounts. The second (...)
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