Description : The study of rationality and practical reason, or rationality in action, has been central to Western intellectual culture. In this invigorating book, John Searle lays out six claims of what he calls the Classical Model of rationality and shows why they are false. He then presents an alternative theory of the role of rationality in thought and action. A central point of Searle's theory is that only irrational actions are directly caused by beliefs and desires—for example, the actions of a person in the grip of an obsession or addiction. In most cases of rational action, there is a gap between the motivating desire and the actual decision making. The traditional name for this gap is "freedom of the will." According to Searle, all rational activity presupposes free will. For rationality is possible only where one has a choice among various rational as well as irrational options. Unlike many philosophical tracts, Rationality in Action invites the reader to apply the author's ideas to everyday life. Searle shows, for example, that contrary to the traditional philosophical view, weakness of will is very common. He also points out the absurdity of the claim that rational decision making always starts from a consistent set of desires. Rational decision making, he argues, is often about choosing between conflicting reasons for action. In fact, humans are distinguished by their ability to be rationally motivated by desire-independent reasons for action. Extending his theory of rationality to the self, Searle shows how rational deliberation presupposes an irreducible notion of the self. He also reveals the idea of free will to be essentially a thesis of how the brain works.
Description : An anthology of previously published pieces that have proven long term importance to theoretical work in rational action.
Description : This volume presents for the first time a collection of historically important papers written on the concept of rationality in the social sciences. In 1939-40, the famed Austrian economist Joseph A. Schumpeter and the famous sociologist Talcott Parsons convened a faculty seminar at Harvard University on the topic of rationality. The first part includes their essays as well as papers by the Austrian phenomenologist Alfred Schütz, the sociologist Wilbert Moore, and the economist Rainer Schickele. Several younger economists and sociologists with bright futures also participated, including Alex Gerschenkron, John Dunlop, Paul M. Sweezy, and Wassily W. Leontief, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize for developing input-output analysis. The second part presents essays and commentaries written by today’s internationally noted social scientists and addressing the topic of rationality in social action from a broad range of perspectives. The book’s third and final part shares the recently discovered correspondence between the seminar principals regarding the original but failed plan to publish its proceedings. It also includes letters, not previously published, between Richard Grathoff, Walter M. Sprondel and Talcott Parsons on the rationality seminar and the exchanges between Parsons and Schütz.
Description : Ideas linked to rational choice theory started to appear frequently in the economics literature in the 1960s and 1970s, but the attention given to rationality widened to include commentators presenting far-reaching appraisals and critiques. The literature grew to a steady flow and spanned diverse areas of thought including socialist and `rational-choice Marxist' assessments, and other approaches including institutional, sociological, psychological, ethical, choice-theoretical, strategic, and game-theoretical treatments of rationality. This diversity of literature led to the creation of this volume. What does rationality mean? Was there some common core of meaning that held all of these seemingly disparate developments together, or were there discernable schools of thought with peculiarities that set them clearly apart from one another? The essays in this volume illustrate that diversity, and despite the variety of approaches there remains a common core of meaning that accommodates not so much a radically different set of concepts of rationality as a highly variegated array of methods and approaches to this subject. Contributors address topics of their choice on the concept of rationality in economics, and the selection of these contributors is meant to represent a variety of backgrounds and approaches.
Description : Rather than being a how-to book, this volume examines the ideas and practices of qualitative research in terms of their applicability for an understanding and explanation of the place of qualitative research in the social sciences.
Description : This book engages in critical discussion of the role of reason and rationality in philosophy, the human mind, ethics, science, and the social sciences. Philosophers from Poland, Germany, and the United States examine reason in the light of emotion, doubt, absolutes, implementation, and interpretation. They throw new light on old values.
Description : Action theorists and formal epistemologists often pursue parallel inquiries regarding rationality, with the former focused on practical rationality, and the latter focused on theoretical rationality. In both fields, there is currently a strong interest in exploring rationality in relation to time. This exploration raises questions about the rationality of certain patterns over time. For example, it raises questions about the rational permissibility of certain patterns of intention; similarly, it raises questions about the rational permissibility of certain patterns of belief. While the action-theoretic and epistemic questions raised are closely related, advances in one field are not always processed by the other. This volume brings together contributions by scholars in action theory and formal epistemology working on questions regarding rationality and time so that researchers in these overlapping fields can profit from each other’s insights. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
Description : This unique study into the roots of Max Weber's Political Economy, is an intriguing read and a valuable contribution to the Weberian literature. Parsons argues that Weber's analysis is highly influenced by the Austrian School of Economics and the relationship between his critique of centrally planned economies and that of Mises.
Description : `As the creator of Rational Emotive Therapy I have probably read more books dealing with its theory and practice than has anyone else. Of all these books, Windy Dryden and Michael Neenan's is easily one of the best - Albert Ellis, Albert Ellis Institute