Close
Close

Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 26 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

27 October 1988
... With an American friend I recently spent two weeks travelling in China at the invitation of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Besides lecturing, our main purpose was to understand the economic reforms in Chinese industry. The three cities we visited, Changzhou, Shanghai and Wenzhou, offer three different models of reform. The first two are experimenting with more independence for state and collective enterprises, whereas in Wenzhou private entrepreneurs and capitalism are emerging as the vehicle of change ...
24 January 1991
The Cement of Society: A Study of Social Order 
by Jon Elster.
Cambridge, 311 pp., £30, October 1989, 0 521 37456 1
Show More
Solomonic Judgments: Studies in the Limitations of Rationality 
by Jon Elster.
Cambridge, 232 pp., £25, October 1989, 9780521374576
Show More
Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences 
by Jon Elster.
Cambridge, 184 pp., £22.50, October 1989, 0 521 37455 3
Show More
Show More
... and ethics are fascinating. With Logic and Society (1978) and Ulysses and the Sirens (1979), Jon Elster sprang to the fore as an exciting exponent. His gifts for simplifying technicalities, for novel applications and for scholarly connections have helped to spread the word across many disciplines. His rampant individualism – the conviction that ...
1 May 1980
Logic and Society 
by Jon Elster.
Wiley, 244 pp., £12.65, March 1978, 0 471 99549 5
Show More
Ulysses and the Sirens 
by Jon Elster.
Cambridge/Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 240 pp., £9.75, May 1979, 0 521 22388 1
Show More
Show More
... wants from the slave something he necessarily cannot have – ‘unilateral recognition’, as Elster puts it in Logic and Society, a recognition freely accorded to him by someone who is a chattel, who cannot freely recognise anyone. This state of consciousness is essential to the master, and implicit in the historical forms that his institution ...

Proverbs

William Ian Miller: Jon Elster

10 August 2000
Alchemies of the Mind: Rationality and the Emotions 
by Jon Elster.
Cambridge, 450 pp., £14.95, March 1999, 0 521 64487 9
Show More
Show More
... phases? Did Shakespeare say to himself: ‘No way I can beat Hamlet, so why write again?’ Jon Elster wrote two gems in the 1970s and 1980s, Ulysses and the Sirens and Sour Grapes. Not that they have deterred him from publishing at a stupendous rate since, though he has never recaptured that earlier refulgence. In Alchemies of the Mind, he ...
20 October 1983
Explaining Technical Change: A Case-Study in the Philosophy of Science 
by Jon Elster.
Cambridge, 273 pp., £22.50, June 1983, 0 521 27072 3
Show More
Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality 
by Jon Elster.
Cambridge, 177 pp., £17.50, June 1983, 9780521252300
Show More
Show More
... Jon Elster needs, as they say, no introduction to regular readers of the London Review, who will be familiar not only with his name but also with the cast of his mind and the breadth of his interests. What makes him distinctive is a combination of philosophical acuity and detailed attention to contemporary work in history, the social sciences and cognitive psychology ...

Socialism

Jon Elster

15 November 1984
The Politics of Socialism: An Essay in Political Theory 
by John Dunn.
Cambridge, 107 pp., £15, October 1984, 0 521 26736 6
Show More
Show More
... Optimism and wishful thinking have been features of socialist thought from its inception. In Marx, for instance, two main premises appear to be that whatever is desirable is possible, and that whatever is desirable and possible is inevitable. John Dunn’s short book is much concerned with the disastrous consequences of this Utopian strand in socialism ...
5 February 1981
Political Obligation in its Historical Context 
by John Dunn.
Cambridge, 355 pp., £14.50, October 1980, 0 521 22890 5
Show More
Show More
... How did the notion arise that political obligation is something more than the unconditional duty of subjects to obey their ruler? And what, in a given situation, are the historically-shaped constraints that set limits to the rational political duty of citizens? Or, in other terms, what are the arguments – historical and contemporary – for seeing political obligation as going beyond blind obedience and yet falling short of the ideal moral imperatives? These are the questions which occupy John Dunn in the essays that make up this book and which give it a coherence greater than that usually achieved in such collections ...
17 September 1987
An Introduction to Karl Marx 
by Jon Elster.
Cambridge, 220 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 521 32922 1
Show More
Making sense of Marx 
by Jon Elster.
Cambridge, 556 pp., £32.50, May 1985, 0 521 22896 4
Show More
Analytical Marxism 
edited by John Roemer.
Cambridge, 321 pp., £27.50, March 1986, 0 521 30025 8
Show More
Show More
... clearly, and defended in the plainest prose. Lest that give the impression that Jerry Cohen, Jon Elster and John Roemer see themselves as Marxists first and philosophers second, it must at once be said that their work is remarkable for the unflinching way in which they throw out whatever won’t pass a dispassionate scrutiny. ...

Chinese Leaps

Jon Elster

25 April 1991
The Search for Modern China 
by Jonathan Spence.
Hutchinson, 876 pp., £19.95, May 1990, 0 09 174472 5
Show More
Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1880s to the 1980s 
by Jack Gray.
Oxford, 456 pp., £35, April 1990, 0 19 913076 0
Show More
Show More
... and soil impose perennial constraints on warfare and agriculture. A striking example is found in Jonathan Spence’s The Search for Modern China: ‘Chiang Kai-shek [in 1949] had roughly the same range of options that had faced the southern Ming court once the Manchus had seized Peking and the North China plain 305 years before. He could try to consolidate a ...
22 December 1983
Mémoires 
by Raymond Aron.
Julliard, 778 pp., frs 120, September 1983, 9782260003328
Show More
Clausewitz: Philosopher of War 
by Raymond Aron, translated by Norman Stone and Christine Booker.
Routledge, 418 pp., £15.95, October 1983, 0 7100 9009 9
Show More
Clausewitz 
by Michael Howard.
Oxford, 79 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 19 287608 2
Show More
Show More
... Raymond Aron died of a heart attack on 17 October, a few weeks after the publication of his memoirs. He died on the steps of the Paris courthouse where he had been testifying on behalf of his friend Bertrand de Jouvenel, who had been violently attacked in a book on French Fascism. The case was not a simple one, as de Jouvenel had said and done some imprudent things in the Thirties ...
3 June 1982
Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 202 pp., £10, June 1980, 0 7011 2510 1
Show More
Economy and Society in Ancient Greece 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 326 pp., £15, April 1981, 0 7011 2549 7
Show More
The Legacy of Greece: A New Appraisal 
edited by M.I. Finley.
Oxford, 479 pp., £8.95, August 1981, 0 19 821915 6
Show More
Show More
... Some fifteen years ago, in the course of reading up the history of technology, I came across an article by M.I. Finley, of whom I then knew nothing, on ‘Technical Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World’, reprinted in his essays on Economy and Society in Ancient Greece. Looking up my notes, and rereading the article today, I now see that I missed most of the points ...
23 May 1985
The Thread of Life 
by Richard Wollheim.
Harvard, 288 pp., £20, January 1985, 0 06 748875 7
Show More
Show More
... Reading Richard Wollheim’s study of what it is to live the life of a person was a frustrating, painful experience. Perhaps it can best be summarised by saying that while the book goes to great lengths to ensure precision in the second decimal, it leaves us in the dark about the first. Wollheim has a marvellously knowledgeable and intelligent mind ...

Nobody at Home

Jon Elster

2 June 1983
Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism 
by Steven Collins.
Cambridge, 323 pp., £22.50, June 1982, 0 521 24081 6
Show More
Le Bonheur-Liberté: Bouddhisme Profond et Modernité 
by Serge-Christophe Kolm.
Presses Universitaires de France, 637 pp., £150, January 1983, 9782130373162
Show More
Show More
... A few years ago I was flying from Paris to Copenhagen on a day of calm and perfect weather. The flight took me over the sea beyond the coast of Holland, and looking down I was able to see in full detail the landscape below sea level, with its hills and valleys and – astonishingly – a lake: an accumulation of dark-blue water at the bottom of a valley, sharply separated from its lighter surroundings and maintained by some unknown physical process ...
16 June 1983
... There might appear to be something inherently unscientific in the designation ‘Marxist social science’. Following Whitehead’s dictum that ‘a science which hesitates to forget its founders is lost,’ one could argue that Marxism – the valuable parts of Marxism – should simply merge with the mainstream of social science and lose its identity as a separate current ...
21 August 1980
... Anglo-American political science is dominated by the image of rational man. Politics is the maximising of something or other: material benefits for the voter, votes for the politician. Politicians competing for the voters’ favour have to think strategically and rationally. They cannot waste effort on lost causes, nor afford to take up positions too far from the centre ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences