Two Kinds of Rationality was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Beginning with a discussion of mind-body dualism in social anthropology, Evens presents a profound theory of human conduct that deploys notions of hierarchy and practice. He uses the case study of an Israeli kibbutz to address the central anthropological problem of rationality.
Of particular interest is Evens's interpretation of the Genesis myth, as well as his reading of Rousseau's revision of this myth, as paradigms of generational conflict and the kibbutz's logic of moral order. These interpretations are tied to Evens's detailed discussion of a controversial attempt to introduce secret balloting into a particular kibbutz's directly democratic process.
Two Kinds of Rationality distinguishes between instrumental and mythic rationality, picturing the latter as a value rationality. Projecting reality as basically ambiguous, Evens offers a critique of theoretical approaches to social action and a rethinking of contemporary notions of human agency. This revolutionary theoretical work will appeal to social and political theorists, anthropologists, and students of cultural studies, social movements, and Jewish studies.
T. M. S. Evens is professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of numerous articles and coeditor of Transcendence in Society: Case Studies (1990), a comparative study of social movements.