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Rationality and the Ideology of Disconnection

$35.99 (P)

Part of Contemporary Political Theory

  • Date Published: July 2006
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521687041

$ 35.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • A powerful and provocative critique of the foundations of Rational Choice theory and the economic way of thinking about the world, written by a former leading practitioner. The target is a dehumanizing ideology that cannot properly recognize that normal people have attachments and commitments to other people and to practices, projects, principles, and places, which provide them with desire-independent reasons for action, and that they are reflective creatures who think about what they are and what they should be, with ideals that can shape and structure the way they see their choices. The author's views are brought to bear on the economic way of thinking about the natural environment and on how and when the norm of fair reciprocity motivates us to do our part in cooperative endeavors. Throughout, the argument is adorned by thought-provoking examples that keep what is at stake clearly before the reader's mind.

    • Richly informed insider's critique
    • Unusual interweaving of theoretical analysis and thought provoking examples
    • A powerful polemic, passionately written, against a highly influential dehumanizing ideology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This passionate book is a powerful conceptual, empirical, and normative critique of Rational Choice theory by a former practitioner."
    -David A. Welch, University of Toronto, Ethics and International Affairs

    "This is an excellent and enjoyable book...As a critique of welfarism, market idealism, and (especially) psychological egoism, Taylor's Rationality and the Ideology of Disconnection is valuable and rewarding. I strongly recommend it on these terms."
    -Frank Lovett, The Review of Politics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521687041
    • length: 238 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.347kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Attachments, Reasons, and Desires:
    1. Attachments: five stories
    2. Narratives, identities, rationality
    Part II. Strokes of Havoc: The Market Ideal and the Disintegration of Lives, Places, and Ecosystems:
    3. The market Utopia
    4. Dis-integration
    Part III. Living in Unity, Doing your Part: Rationality, Recognition, and Reciprocity:
    5. Introduction: doing your part
    6. The rationality of reciprocity
    7. Normativity, recognition, and moral motivation
    8. Citizens and workers: the argument illustrated.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Intro. to Social and Political Philosophy
    • The Scope of Political Science
  • Author

    Michael Taylor, University of Washington
    Michael Taylor is a professor of political science at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has previously taught at the University of Essex in England and at Yale University. He was for many years a leading practitioner of Rational Choice theory and published two influential books on cooperation in the absence of centralized coercion: Anarchy and Cooperation (later re-titled as The Possibility of Cooperation, 1987) and Community, Anarchy, and Liberty (1982). He has also published articles in the Journal of Theoretical Politics, Politics and Society, and the Journal of Political Philosophy, among others.

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