Literature and rationality : ideas of agency in theory and fiction [E-Book] / Paisley Livingston.
Livingston, Paisley, (author)
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1991
1 online resource (x, 256 pages)
Full Text
This interdisciplinary study establishes connections between divergent approaches to rationality in philosophy, social science, and literary studies. Livingston provides a broad survey of the basic assumptions and questions associated with concepts of rationality in philosophical accounts of action, in decision theory, and in the theory of rational choice. He gives examples of the ways in which rationality is involved in the writing and reading of literary works, ranging from Icelandic sagas to Beckett, Dreiser, Lem, Poe and Zola. Topics examined include the role of concepts of desire, intention, and planning in action explanations, the relation between cognition and motivation, the rationality of desire, atomic versus agential perspectives on rationality, the rationality of groups and institutions, and the question of the rationality of science.