Strong Feelings

From Jean Nicod Lectures

Strong Feelings

Emotion, Addiction, and Human Behavior

By Jon Elster

Bradford Books





Emotion and addiction lie on a continuum between simple visceral drives such as hunger, thirst, and sexual desire at one end and calm, rational decision making at the other. Although emotion and addiction involve visceral motivation, they are also closely linked to cognition and culture. They thus provide the ideal vehicle for Jon Elster's study of the interrelation between three explanatory approaches to behavior: neurobiology, culture, and choice.

The book is organized around parallel analyses of emotion and addiction in order to bring out similarities as well as differences. Elster's study sheds fresh light on the generation of human behavior, ultimately revealing how cognition, choice, and rationality are undermined by the physical processes that underlie strong emotions and cravings. This book will be of particular interest to those studying the variety of human motivations who are dissatisfied with the prevailing reductionisms.

*Not for sale in Belgium, France, or Switzerland.

Bradford Books imprint


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262050562 266 pp. | 5.4 in x 7.9 in


$25.00 X ISBN: 9780262550369 266 pp. | 5.4 in x 7.9 in


  • Useful and consistently sensible and interesting.

    Simon Blackburn

    Times Literary Supplement

  • Dr. Elster's new book was a great pleasure to read. As usual, he combines subtlety with profundity in approaching perennial problems, in this case those of the relationships between emotion, addiction, and choice. The book truly illuminates the issues, thanks to Elster's amazing erudition in the several domains.

    Nico H. frijda

    Professor in Psychology, University of Amsterdam