Reason in Human Affairs

Front Cover
Stanford University Press, Jul 1, 1990 - Business & Economics - 128 pages
1 Review
What can reason (or more broadly, thinking) do for us and what can't it do? This is the question examined by Herbert A. Simon, who received the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences "for his pioneering work on decision-making processes in economic organizations."

The ability to apply reason to the choice of actions is supposed to be one of the defining characteristics of our species. In the first two chapters, the author explores the nature and limits of human reason, comparing and evaluating the major theoretical frameworks that have been erected to explain reasoning processes. He also discusses the interaction of thinking and emotion in the choice of our actions. In the third and final chapter, the author applies the theory of bounded rationality to social institutions and human behavior, and points out the problems created by limited attention span human inability to deal with more than one difficult problem at a time. He concludes that we must recognize the limitations on our capabilities for rational choice and pursue goals that, in their tentativeness and flexibility, are compatible with those limits.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

This is a short book containing three lecture-based essays; the first on rational choice theory, the second on social evolution and the third on knowledge in politics. Although the author's learned ... Read full review

Contents

Alternative Visions of Rationality
3
Rationality and Teleology
37
Rational Processes in Social Affairs
75
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Democracy and Its Critics

Limited preview - 1989
Searching for Safety
Aaron B. Wildavsky
No preview available - 1988
All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information