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    Ulysses Unbound: Studies in Rationality, Precommitment, and Constraints (Hardback) By (author) Jon Elster

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    DescriptionCommon sense suggests that it is always preferable to have more options than fewer, and better to have more knowledge than less. This provocative book argues that, very often, common sense fails. Sometimes it is simply the case that less is more; people may benefit from being constrained in their options or from being ignorant. The three long essays that constitute this book revise and expand the ideas developed in Jon Elster's classic study Ulysses and the Sirens. It is not simply a new edition of the earlier book, though; many of the issues merely touched on before are explored here in much more detail. Elster shows how seemingly disparate examples which limit freedom of action reveal similar patterns, so much so that he proposes a new field of study: constraint theory. The book is written in Elster's characteristically vivid style and will interest professionals and students in philosophy, political science, psychology, and economics.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Ulysses Unbound

    Title
    Ulysses Unbound
    Subtitle
    Studies in Rationality, Precommitment, and Constraints
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Jon Elster
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 320
    Width: 147 mm
    Height: 226 mm
    Thickness: 10 mm
    Weight: 431 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780521662130
    ISBN 10: 0521662133
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: PHI
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S2.1
    B&T Book Type: NF
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 03
    BIC subject category V2: HPC
    BISAC V2.8: PHI019000
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T General Subject: 610
    Ingram Subject Code: PH
    Libri: I-PH
    DC21: 190
    LC subject heading: ,
    B&T Approval Code: A11244020
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15200
    BISAC V2.8: PHI010000
    DC22: 128/.4, 128.4
    BISAC V2.8: PSY008000
    B&T Approval Code: A11050000
    LC subject heading: ,
    LC classification: BF441 .E45 2000
    LC subject heading:
    Thema V1.0: QDH
    Illustrations note
    5 b/w illus. 4 tables
    Publisher
    CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Imprint name
    CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Publication date
    13 April 2000
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge
    Review quote
    "All three sections of the book are rich in historical examples. Elster is very good at illustrating his points with concrete cases, at seeing connections among disparate fields, and at steering discussions in novel and very suggestive directions. ... Elster is at his best in raising interesting questions for further interdisciplinary research." The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
    Table of contents
    Preface and acknowledgments; Part I. Ulysses Revisited: How and Why People Bind Themselves: 1. Introduction: Constraint theory; 2; Passion as a reason for self-binding; 3. Time-inconsistency and discounting; 4. Time-inconsistency and strategic behavior; 5. Passion as a device for self-binding; 6. Variations on a Russian nobleman; 7. Addiction and precommitment; 8. Obstacles, objections and alternatives; Part II. Ulysses Unbound: Constitutions as Constraints: 9. Introduction; 10. Disanalogies with individual precommitment; 11. The nature and structure of constitutions; 12. Constraints on constitution-making; 13. Two levels of constitutional precommitment; 14. Self-binding in Athenian politics; 15. Interest and passion in Philadelphia and Paris; 16. Time-inconsistency, discounting and delays; 17. Omnipotence, strategic behavior and separation of powers; 18. Efficiency; 19. Obstacles and objections; 20. Ulysses unbound; Part III. Less is More: Creativity and Constraints in the Arts: 21. Introduction; 22. Daydreaming: creativity without constraints; 23. Constraints and conventions in the arts; 24. Constraints, value, and creativity; 25. Originality, authenticity, and creativity; 26. The Hays code; 27. Lucien Leuwen as an empty set; 28. Randomization in the arts; 29. Creativity and constraints in jazz; 30. Obstacles and objections; Coda; References.