• Title: How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind: The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality
  • Author: Paul Erickson Judy L. Klein Lorraine Daston Rebecca Lemov Thomas Sturm Michael Gordin
  • ISBN: 9780226046631
  • Page: 412
  • Format: Hardcover
  • How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality In the United States at the height of the Cold War roughly between the end of World War II and the early s a new project of redefining rationality commanded the attention of sharp minds powerfu
    In the United States at the height of the Cold War, roughly between the end of World War II and the early 1980s, a new project of redefining rationality commanded the attention of sharp minds, powerful politicians, wealthy foundations, and top military brass Its home was the human sciences psychology, sociology, political science, and economics, among others and its partiIn the United States at the height of the Cold War, roughly between the end of World War II and the early 1980s, a new project of redefining rationality commanded the attention of sharp minds, powerful politicians, wealthy foundations, and top military brass Its home was the human sciences psychology, sociology, political science, and economics, among others and its participants enlisted in an intellectual campaign to figure out what rationality should mean and how it could be deployed How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind brings to life the people Herbert Simon, Oskar Morgenstern, Herman Kahn, Anatol Rapoport, Thomas Schelling, and many others and places, including the RAND Corporation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Cowles Commission for Research and Economics, and the Council on Foreign Relations, that played a key role in putting forth a Cold War rationality Decision makers harnessed this picture of rationality optimizing, formal, algorithmic, and mechanical in their quest to understand phenomena as diverse as economic transactions, biological evolution, political elections, international relations, and military strategy The authors chronicle and illuminate what it meant to be rational in the age of nuclear brinkmanship.

    One Reply to “How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind: The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality”

    1. A brilliant ensemble-cast intellectual history of the debates over how to define rationality during the cold war, a debate that began in the pressure cooker of WWII operations research, achieved a chain reaction at RAND in the first postwar decade, mushroomed in economics via game theory, and then delivered its fallout across the social sciences (which the authors insist on calling the "human sciences"), and most particularly in psychology. The central argument of the book is that what the ratio [...]

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