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Sour Grapes
Studies in the Subversion of Rationality


Part of Cambridge Philosophy Classics

Richard Holton
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  • Date Published: September 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316507001

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About the Authors
  • 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, illuminating its continuing importance to philosophical enquiry, Sour Grapes has been revived for a new generation of readers.

    • Unique to Cambridge, this classic book has been revived and rebranded for a twenty-first-century readership
    • Subverts orthodox theories of rational choice
    • Draws from a range of subject areas, including philosophy, social theory, economics, psychology and history
    • Features a specially commissioned preface written by Richard Holton
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316507001
    • length: 192 pages
    • copublisher: Maison des Sciences de l'Homme
    • dimensions: 231 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.28kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface to this edition Richard Holton
    1. Rationality
    2. States that are essentially by-products
    3. Sour grapes
    4. Belief, bias and ideology

  • Author

    Jon Elster
    Jon Elster is Robert K. Merton Professor of the Social Sciences at Columbia University and Professeur Honoraire at the Collège de France. He is the author or editor of thirty-four books on the philosophy of social science and rational choice theory, including Securities against Misrule: Juries, Assemblies, Elections (Cambridge, 2013) and Explaining Social Behavior: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences, 2nd edition (Cambridge, 2015).


    Richard Holton

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