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Why Do We Do What We Do?

Motivation in History and the Social Sciences

Why we do what we do is a matter of great interest to everyone, and everyone seems to have had their say about it – philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, economists, and historians perhaps the most, case by case. Occasionally the specialists have offered their ideas to a general readership, but mostly they prefer to speak to and with their fellows in their particular disciplines. To evaluate and compare their findings in a cross-disciplinary way is now for the first time attempted, by Ramsay MacMullen. Emeritus history professor from Yale University, he is the recipient of various academic awards, including a lifetime Award for Scholarly Distinction from the American Historical Association

decision-making as process, integration of historical and social science findings, cognitive and affective input

Author Information

Ramsay MacMullen, Dunham Professor of History, emeritus, Yale University (New Haven, CT, USA).


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Audience: Scholars working on Kant and/or the philosophy of mind, including graduate students and working philosophers.