'Why do human beings behave in detail exactly as they do and not in some other way? What, if anything, causes them so to act? How can we validly explain the fact that they do in practice act this way and not differently? ... It is the distinctive merit of Martin Hollis's exceedingly clever ... little book to ram home the priority of these vertiginous metaphysical questions to any intellectually coherent attempt to understand one another, individually or by the gross. Radical interpretation is simply the stuff of human life; and the social sciences are radical interpretation on stilts.' New Society
'His extremely clear, sharp, witty style ... makes the entire book very well worth reading. I find his central point entirely persuasive, and it may well be that his careful and courteous defence of it will be the best way to bring it home to those who still see witchcraft in any suggestion that the world must be explained in different ways for different purposes.' Philosophy
A study of the models philosophers and social theorists have used to explain human action, and a presentation of a new model connecting personal and social identity.