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Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences By Jon Elster (Columbia University, New York)

Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences
by Jon Elster (Columbia University, New York)

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In this 1989 book, Jon Elster's point of departure is the conflict we all face between our desires and our opportunities. He asks how rational choice theory can help us understand our motivation and behaviour, and what happens when the theory breaks down but we still cleave to a belief in the power of the rational.
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Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences Summary


Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences by Jon Elster (Columbia University, New York)

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 understand our motivation and behaviour? More significantly, what happens when the theory breaks down but we still cleave to a belief in the power of the rational? Elster describes the fascinating range of forms of irrationality - wishful thinking, the phenomenon of sour grapes, discounting the future in noncooperative behaviour. This is a remarkably lucid and comprehensive introduction to the social sciences for students of political science, philosophy, sociology and economics.

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Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences Reviews


"Elster's book is a success. It is lively, modest, thoughtful, and laced with the sort of vivid images that effectively make abstract ideas come alive." Economics and Philosophy

Table of Contents


Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. Introduction: 1. Mechanisms; Part II. Human Action: 2. Desires and opportunities; 3. Rational choice; 4. When rationality fails; 5. Myopia and foresight; 6. Selfishness and altruism; 7. Emotions; 8. Natural and social selection; 9. Reinforcement; Part III. Interaction: 10. Unintended consequences; 11. Equilibrium; 12. Social norms; 13. Collective action; 14. Bargaining; 15. Social institutions; 16. Social change; Bibliographical essay; Index.

Additional information

GOR002666846
Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences by Jon Elster (Columbia University, New York)
Jon Elster (Columbia University, New York)
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Cambridge University Press
1989-07-28
194
0521376068
9780521376068
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.