Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside Reason in Action

Reason in Action
Essays in the Philosophy of Social Science

$103.00 (C)

  • Date Published: January 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521442633

$ 103.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Did Adam and Eve act rationally in eating the fruit of the forbidden tree? That can seem to depend solely on whether they had found the best means to their ends, in the spirit of the "economic" theories of rationality. In these essays, culled in revised form from twenty-five years' work, Martin Hollis argues that social action cannot be understood by viewing human beings as abstract individuals with preferences in search of satisfaction, or by divorcing practical reason from questions of the rationality of norms, principles, practices and ends.

    • Hollis is a major figure in this area of philosophy
    • The essays (in revised form) span 25 years of his work
    • Of strong appeal to both philosophers and social scientists
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Hollis's thoughtful and provocative essays will reward anyone interested in these and other topics addressed in this volume." International Philosophical Quarterly

    "Martin Hollis has made significant contributions over many years to the theory of rationality and the role of this concept within the human sciences. Hollis's signal contribution is his persistent effort to bring these questions back to philosophy, and to locate the points of intersection between the theory of rationality and a host of important philosophical issues....Reason in Action is a highly successful volume which will reward the attention of a wide audience of philosophers and social scientists. Hollis sheds important light on foundational problems in the human sciences through his developed discussion of issues of individual rationality, cross-cultural standards of rationality, and standards of interpretation of human action." Daniel Little, Ethics

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1996
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521442633
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Prologue: reason in action
    Part I. Rational Choice:
    2. Three men in a drought
    3. Rational preferences
    4. The ant and the grasshopper
    5. Moves and motives
    6. A rational agent's gotta do what a rational agent's gotta do!
    Part II. Roles and Reasons:
    7. Of masks and men
    8. Honour among thieves
    9. Dirty hands
    10. A death of one's own
    11. Friends, Romans and consumers
    Part III. Other Cultures, Other Minds:
    12. The limits of irrationality
    13. Reason and ritual
    14. The social destruction of reality
    15. Hook, line and sinker
    16. Say it with flowers
    17. Reasons of honour.

  • Author

    Martin Hollis

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.