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Reason and RationalityReason and Rationality

Jon Elster

Translated by Steven Rendall

Narrated by John Lescault

Available from Audible

audio sample
This file is 3.1 MB.

Book published by Princeton University Press

One of the world's most important political philosophers, Jon Elster is a leading thinker on reason and rationality and their roles in politics and public life. In this short book, he crystallizes and advances his work, bridging the gap between philosophers who use the idea of reason to assess human behavior from a normative point of view and social scientists who use the idea of rationality to explain behavior. In place of these approaches, Elster proposes a unified conceptual framework for the study of behavior.

Drawing on classical moralists as well as modern scholarship, and using a wealth of historical and contemporary illustrations, Reason and Rationality marks a new development in Elster's thinking while at the same time providing a brief, elegant, and accessible introduction to his work.

Jon Elster holds the Chaire de Rationalité et Sciences Sociales at the Collège de France. Among his recent books are Explaining Social Behavior and Closing the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective.

John Lescault (narrator) has narrated more than a hundred audiobooks for The Library of Congress and major companies. He is the winner of multiple Earphones Awards (AudioFile).


“Jon Elster's Reason and Rationality is characteristically erudite, elegant, and philosophically sophisticated. It beautifully encapsulates lines of research that Elster has been developing for years, and it serves as a wonderful introduction to his more technical work.”

—Daniel Weinstock, University of Montreal

“This short book presents a broad synthesis of Jon Elster's work on reason and rationality, and their complex relations to interest and passion. With clarity and elegance, it presents some of the main positions of one of the most important authors on the subject. Reason and Rationality is a pleasure to read.”

—Dominique Leydet, Université du Québec à Montréal

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University Press Audiobooks