Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge

By Michael Suk-Young Chwe | Go to book overview

4
Conclusion

The distinction between rationality and irrationality in the Western tradition goes back at least to Aristotle (1976, p. 90), who wrote that the “irrational part of the soul” is persuaded and admonished by the rational part “in the sense that a child pays attention to its father.” It is all too easy to say that this distinction is misleading or at the very least simplistic. For example, there seems to be a neurological connection between emotion and decision making in human beings; this is suggested by the phenomenon of people who, as a result of prefrontal brain damage, become both emotionally unresponsive and bad at making everyday decisions, even though their “pure reasoning” abilities, as measured by standard intelligence tests, for example, are undiminished (Damasio 1994).

Compared with the great complexity and richness of individual and social life, simple distinctions are by definition crude. But the standard argument is that to understand the social world in any generality, if one has ambitions other than chronicling infinite detail, one must use simple and crude concepts; for example, this book employs a very simple conception of individual thought and action and applies it widely. Theories and explanations can thus be much more clearly demarcated than reality itself. For example, although few would say that there is a clear distinction between the “rational part” and the “irrational part” of a human being, it seems obvious that there is a distinction between explanations based on rationality and explanations based on irrationality or nonrationality; Vilfredo Pareto institutionalized this distinction, calling it the dividing line between economics and sociology (see Swedberg 1990, p. 11).

This distinction, related to a whole series of distinctions,

-94-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Applications 19
  • 3 - Elaborations 74
  • 4 - Conclusion 94
  • Appendix - The Argument Expressed Diagrammatically 101
  • References 113
  • Index 127
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 130

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.