Britta Böhler Haus Publishing, 2015 Library of Congress PT5882.12.O49B5713 2015 | Dewey Decimal 833.92
This intriguing novel follows German author Thomas Mann during three crucial days in 1936. Away in Switzerland and fearing arrest by the Nazis upon his return to Germany, Mann must choose whether to travel back to Munich. He decides to release an open letter to the regime in a Swiss newspaper but is then tortured by doubt: his Jewish publisher in Germany will be furious with the unwelcome attention Mann’s letter is sure to bring, and by choosing exile, isn’t the writer abandoning his loyal readers back home? Will the Nazis burn his books? Will they confiscate his diaries, which include intimate, homoerotic confessions?
Britta Böhler shows us one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers as a family man, a father, a writer, and a man with moral doubts. We see a human soul trapped in a historical setting that forces him to make a seemingly impossible choice. A convincing depiction of a dilemma addressed only sparsely in Mann’s own writings, The Decision eloquently explores the all-too-human price of confronting totalitarianism.
This book is a full-scale exposition of Charles Manski's new methodology for analyzing empirical questions in the social sciences. He recommends that researchers first ask what can be learned from data alone, and then ask what can be learned when data are combined with credible weak assumptions. Inferences predicated on weak assumptions, he argues, can achieve wide consensus, while ones that require strong assumptions almost inevitably are subject to sharp disagreements.
Building on the foundation laid in the author's Identification Problems in the Social Sciences (Harvard, 1995), the book's fifteen chapters are organized in three parts. Part I studies prediction with missing or otherwise incomplete data. Part II concerns the analysis of treatment response, which aims to predict outcomes when alternative treatment rules are applied to a population. Part III studies prediction of choice behavior.
Each chapter juxtaposes developments of methodology with empirical or numerical illustrations. The book employs a simple notation and mathematical apparatus, using only basic elements of probability theory.
The four main essays in this volume investigate new sectors of the theory of decision, preference, act-characteristics, and action analysis. Herbert A. Simon applies tools developed in the theory of decision-making to the logic of action, and thereby develops a novel concept of heuristic power. Adapting ideas from utility and decision theory, Nicholas Rescher proposes a logic of preference by which conflicting theories proposed by G. H. von Wright, R. M. Chisholm, and others can be systematized. Donald Davidson discusses difficulties in specifying the structure of action sentences to elucidate how their meaning depends on that structure. G. H. von Wright devises a method for describing each “state of the world” that results from an action, in a revision of his own earlier work. Additionally, a study of the logic of norms by Alan Ross Anderson is presented as an appendix, along with an appendix by Rescher outlining the aspects of action.
How do people decide whether to sacrifice now for a future reward or to enjoy themselves in the present? Do the future gains of putting money in a pension fund outweigh going to Hawaii for New Year's Eve? Why does a person's self-discipline one day often give way to impulsive behavior the next? Time and Decision takes up these questions with a comprehensive collection of new research on intertemporal choice, examining how people face the problem of deciding over time. Economists approach intertemporal choice by means of a model in which people discount the value of future events at a constant rate. A vacation two years from now is worth less to most people than a vacation next week. Psychologists, on the other hand, have focused on the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of intertemporal choice. Time and Decision draws from both disciplinary approaches to provide a comprehensive picture of the various layers of choice involved. Shane Frederick, George Loewenstein, and Ted O'Donoghue introduce the volume with an overview of the research on time discounting and focus on how people actually discount the future compared to the standard economic model. Alex Kacelnik discusses the crucial role that the ability to delay gratification must have played in evolution. Walter Mischel and colleagues review classic research showing that four year olds who are able to delay gratification subsequently grow up to perform better in college than their counterparts who chose instant gratification. The book also delves into the neurobiology of patience, examining the brain structures involved in the ability to withstand an impulse. Turning to the issue of self-control, Klaus Wertenbroch examines the relationship between consumption and available resources, showing, for example, how a high credit limit can lead people to overspend. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin show how people's awareness of their self-control problems affects their decision-making. The final section of the book examines intertemporal choice with regard to health, drug addiction, dieting, marketing, savings, and public policy. All of us make important decisions every day-many of which profoundly affect the quality of our lives. Time and Decision provides a fascinating look at the complex factors involved in how and why we make our choices, so many of them short-sighted, and helps us understand more precisely this crucial human frailty.
The Valley Of Decision
Marcia Davenport University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989 Library of Congress PS3507.A66515V36 1989 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
Originally published in 1942, The Valley of Decision was an instant success, and its story of four generations of the Scott family—owners and operators of a Pittsburgh iron and steel works—has since captured the imagination of generations of readers. Absorbing and complex, it chronicles the family’s saga from the economic panic of 1873 through the dramatic rise of American industry and trade unionism, through waves of immigration, class conflict, natural disaster, World War I, and Pearl Harbor. In 1945 it was made into a major motion picture starring Greer Garson and Gregory Peck.
This reissue features a new foreword by noted steel industry historian John Hoerr, author of And the Wolf Finally Came, who places the novel in context as a classic depiction of twentieth-century America.