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Home > Catalog > Explaining Social Behavior
Explaining Social Behavior


  • 5 tables
  • Page extent: 498 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.66 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521777445)

  • There was also a Hardback of this title but it is no longer available | Adobe eBook
  • Published April 2007

Replaced by 9781107416413

$34.99 (P)

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 language, Elster aims at accuracy and clarity while eschewing formal models.


Preface; Introduction; Part I. Explanation and Mechanisms: 1. Explanation; 2. Mechanisms; 3. Interpretation; Part II. The Mind: 4. Motivations; 5. Self-interest and altruism; 6. Myopia and foresight; 7. Beliefs; 8. Emotions; Part III. Action: 9. Desires and opportunities; 10. Persons and situations; 11. Rational choice; 12. Rationality and behavior; 13. Responding to irrationality; 14. Some implications for textual interpretation; Part IV. Lessons from the Natural Sciences: 15. Physiology and neuroscience; 16. Explanation by consequences and natural selection; 17. Selection and human behavior; Part V. Interaction: 18. Unintended consequences; 19. Strategic interaction; 20. Games and behavior; 21. Trust; 22. Social norms; 23. Collective belief formation; 24. Collective action; 25. Collective decision-making; 26. Organizations and institutions; Conclusion.


"...contains many interesting puzzles and examples, and excellent elementary discussions of the major concepts of the social sciences...a treasure trove of suitable and interesting case-studies and examples..." --Dean Rickles, University of Sydney: Philosophy in Review

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