Is Rational Choice Theory All of Social Science?

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Author: Mark I. Lichbach

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 9780472024858

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 3047

Advocates of rational choice theory in political science have been perceived by their critics as attempting to establish an intellectual hegemony in contemporary social science, to the detriment of alternative methods of research. The debate has gained a nonacademic audience, hitting the pages of the New York Times and the New Republic. In the academy, the antagonists have expressed their views in books, journal articles, and at professional conferences. Mark I. Lichbach addresses the question of the place of rational choice theory in the social sciences in general and in political science in particular. He presents a typology of the antagonists as either rationalist, culturalist, or structuralist and offers an insightful examination of the debate. He reveals that the rationalist bid for hegemony and synthesis is rooted in the weaknesses, not the strengths, of rationalist thought. He concludes that the various theoretical camps are unlikely to accept the claimed superiority of the rationalist approach but that this opposition is of value in itself to the social sciences, which requires multiple perspectives to remain healthy. With its penetrating examination of the assumptions and basic arguments of each of the sides to this debate, this book cuts through the partisan rhetoric and provides an essential roadmap for the future of the discipline. Mark I. Lichbach is Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland.

Rational Choice Theory

Resisting Colonisation

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Author: Margaret S. Archer,Jonathan Q. Tritter

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134546521

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 8911

Rational Choice Theory is flourishing in sociology and is increasingly influential in other disciplines. Contributors to this volume are convinced that it provides an inadequate conceptualization of all aspects of decision making: of the individuals who make the decisions, of the process by which decisions get made and of the context within which decisions get made. The ciritique focuses on the four assumptions which are the bedrock of rational choice: rationality: the theory's definition of rationality is incomplete, and cannot satisfactorily incorporate norms and emotions individualism: rational choice is based upon atomistic, individual decision makers and cannot account for decisions made by ;couples', 'groups' or other forms of collective action process: the assumption of fixed, well-ordered preferences and 'perfect information' makes the theory inadequate for situations of change and uncertainty aggregation: as methodological individualists, rational choice theorists can only view structure and culture as aggregates and cannot incorporate structural or cultural influences as emergent properties which have an effect upon decision making. The critique is grounded in discussion of a wide range of social issues, including race, marriage, health and education.

The Social Sciences and Rationality

Promise, Limits, and Problems

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Author: Hudson Meadwell

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351322869

Category: Social Science

Page: 228

View: 8365

In recent decades, rational choice theory has emerged as the single most powerful, controversial claimant to provide a unified, theoretical framework for all the social sciences. In its simplest form, the theory postulates that humans are purposive beings who pursue their goals in a rational, efficient manner, seeking the greatest benefit at the lowest cost. This volume brings together prominent scholars working in several social science disciplines and the philosophy of science to debate the promise and problems of rational choice theory. As rational choice theory has spread from its home base in economics to other disciplines, it has come under fierce criticism. To its critics, the extension of the explanatory model mistakenly assumes that the logic of economic rationality can explain non-economic behavior and, at its worst, commits the ethnocentric error of imposing Western concepts of rationality on non-Western societies and cultures. This volume includes strong advocates as well as forceful critics of the rational choice approach. However, in contrast to previous debates, all the contributors share a commitment to open, constructive and knowledgeable dialogue. Well-known advocates of rational choice theory (Michael Hechter, Michael Smith, Chris Manfredi) explicitly ponder some of its serious limitations, while equally well-known critics (Ian Shapiro, Mario Bunge) strike a surprisingly conciliatory tone in contemplating its legitimate uses. Vociferous critics of neoclassical economics (Bunge) favorably discuss sociological proponents of rational choice theory while two economists who are not particularly anti-mainstream (Robin Rowley, George Grantham) critically assess the problems of such assumptions in their discipline. Philosophers (Storrs McCall) and sociologists (John Hall) alike reflect on the variable meaning of rationality in explaining social behavior. In the introduction and conclusion, the editors survey the current state of the debate and show how open, constructive dialogue enables us to move beyond hackneyed accusations and dismissals that have characterized much previous debate.

Erklärende Soziologie

Grundlagen, Vertreter und Anwendungsfelder eines soziologischen Forschungsprogramms

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Author: Andrea Maurer,Michael Schmid

Publisher: Springer-Verlag

ISBN: 3531925911

Category: Social Science

Page: 463

View: 8400

Wem die Soziologie als willkürliche Ansammlung unterschiedlicher Theorien und Konzepte erscheint, dem kann der vorliegende Band als praktische Handreichung dienen. Aus der systematischen Verbindung von Handlungstheorien und Situationsmodellen wird eine Erklärungspraxis abgeleitet, die soziale Mechanismen wie Herrschaft und Organisation, Norm und Gruppe, Kultur und Religion unter einem Dach erklärt. Sie erscheinen als der Versuch der Akteure, Handlungs- und Abstimmungsprobleme zu bearbeiten – oder allgemeiner gesagt: ihre soziale Welt zu gestalten.

Studienbuch Politikwissenschaft

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Author: Manfred G Schmidt,Frieder Wolf,Stefan Wurster

Publisher: Springer-Verlag

ISBN: 3531189867

Category: Political Science

Page: 569

View: 8635

Dieses Studien- und Handbuch bietet eine umfassende und systematische Einführung in die Kerngebiete der Politikwissenschaft und ihre wichtigen Lehr- und Forschungsgebiete.

Rational Choice Theory and Religion

Summary and Assessment

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Author: Lawrence A. Young

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134953429

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 6262

Rational Choice Theory and Religion considers one of the major developments in the social scientific paradigms that promises to foster a greater theoretical unity among the disciplines of sociology, political science, economics and psychology. Applying the theory of rational choice--the theory that each individual will make her choice to maximize gain and minimize cost--to the study of religion, Lawrence Young has brought together a group of internationally renowned scholars to examine this important development within the field of religion for the first time.

Rational choice theory

advocacy and critique

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Author: James Samuel Coleman,Thomas J. Fararo

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc

ISBN: N.A

Category: Philosophy

Page: 232

View: 9023

Rational Choice Theory is one of the few general theories of how individuals, groups, organizations and social structures behave - its impact on sociological theorizing has been enormous. In this volume, advocates and critics present their views of the values and limitations of rational choice theory. Whether supporter or sceptic, sociologists and other social scientists will find themselves immersed in a creative discussion of the merits and difficulties of the model and its applicability to both macro and micro level social issues.

Philosophy of social science

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Author: Alexander Rosenberg

Publisher: Westview Pr

ISBN: N.A

Category: Social Science

Page: 236

View: 4685

This is an expanded and thoroughly revised edition of the widely adopted introduction to the philosophical foundations of the human sciences. Ranging from cultural anthropology to mathematical economics, Alexander Rosenberg leads the reader through behaviorism, naturalism, interpretativism about human action, and macrosocial scientific perspectives, illuminating the motivation and strategy of each.Rewritten throughout to increase accessibility, this new edition retains the remarkable achievement of revealing the social sciences’ enduring relation to the fundamental problems of philosophy. It includes new discussions of positivism, European philosophy of history, causation, statistical laws, quantitative models, and postempiricist social science, along with a completely updated literature guide that keys chapters to widely anthologized papers.

Rational Choice Theory and Organizational Theory

A Critique

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Author: Mary Zey

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 9780803951365

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 137

View: 1976

This book addresses a question central to organizational analysis: Given the well-established differences between rational choice and organizational theories, what are the limits of fruitful dialogue and collaboration between the two fields? Rational Choice Theory and Organizational Theory is written in response to the neoclassical economic rational choice theories and organizational economic theories which have emerged in the past decade. Rational choice theory exemplifies a highly abstract, deductive approach characterized by the development of models based on deliberately, rigidly simplified assumptions. In contrast, Mary Zey argues that the empirical validity of the structure of organizations

Rational Choice and Social Exchange

A Critique of Exchange Theory

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Author: Anthony Heath

Publisher: CUP Archive

ISBN: 9780521290531

Category: Political Science

Page: 194

View: 4552

This 1976 book provides a systematic exposition of the principle components of exchange theory, and goes on to give a critique of these theories, paying particular attention to the success of their empirical applications. It concludes that exchange theory has an important part to play in the development of social science.

Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences

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Author: Jon Elster

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521376068

Category: Philosophy

Page: 184

View: 6276

Describes common examples of irrational behavior, including wishful thinking, and shows how they can affect wage bargaining, voting, and court decisions

Choice and Religion

A Critique of Rational Choice Theory

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Author: Steve Bruce

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780198295846

Category: Social Science

Page: 247

View: 6864

People of the western world now have unprecedented freedom to choose their religion. In this book, the world's leading sociologist of religion argues that the liberty and freedom to choose religion corrodes faith and that religion remains most vital when it is part of ethnic and national identity.

Epistemology of Decision

Rational Choice, Neuroscience and Biological Approaches

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Author: Mario Graziano

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400754280

Category: Science

Page: 94

View: 7058

This book carries out an epistemological analysis of the decision, including a critical analysis through the continuous reference to an interdisciplinary approach including a synthesis of philosophical approaches, biology and neuroscience. Besides this it represents the analysis of causality here seen not from the formal point of view, but from the "embodied" point of view. ​

Rational Choice and Politics

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Author: Stephen Parsons

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 9780826477217

Category: Political Science

Page: 189

View: 6118

Rational Choice Theory claims to be able to explain how all individuals make not just some of their choices, but all of their choices, all of the time. According to the theory, there is no difference in principle between choosing whether to buy apples rather than bananas or choosing whether to join a political revolution instead of staying at home and watching television. Given these claims to universal applicability, it is perhaps not surprising to find that over the last three or four decades Rational Choice Theory has become increasingly influential as a means of providing explanations in politics. The textbook introduces the premises of Rational Choice Theory and illustrates how this theory can be applied to political studies. The book concludes with an assessment of the usefulness of the model in the light of the problems highlighted. -"Parson's book provides a lucid presentation and a cogent critique of Rational Choice Theory in economics and politics." Professor Steve Pressman, Department of Economics and Finance, Monmouth University, USA

Putting Choice Before Democracy

A Critique of Rational Choice Theory

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Author: Emily Hauptmann

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791430286

Category: Political Science

Page: 138

View: 9454

Shows how rational choice theory's critique and justification of democracy fails in its project to recast democratic theory.

Rational Choice

Eine Kritik am Beispiel von Anwendungen in der Politischen Wissenschaft. Übersetzung aus dem Amerikanischen von Annette Schmitt

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Author: Donald P. Green,Ian Shapiro

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 3486831607

Category: Philosophy

Page: 271

View: 9400

In diesem gut lesbaren und verständlichen Buch bewerten die Autoren die Anwendung der Rational-Choice-Theorie. In ihrer herben Kritik zeigen Green und Shapiro auf, dass die hoch gelobten Ergebnisse der Rational-Choice-Theorie tatsächlich äußerst suspekt sind und dass ein grundsätzliches Umdenken erforderlich ist, um diesen analytischen Ansatz in der Politikwissenschaft wirklich nutzen zu können. Diesen Prozess des Umdenkens wollen die Autoren mit ihrem Buch anstoßen.

Varieties of social explanation

an introduction to the philosophy of social science

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Author: Daniel Little

Publisher: Westview Pr

ISBN: 9780813305653

Category: Philosophy

Page: 258

View: 1527

"Professor Little presents an introduction to the philosophy of social science with an emphasis on the central forms of explanation in social science: rational-intentional, causal, functional, structur"

Finding Philosophy in Social Science

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Author: Mario Bunge,Professor Mario Bunge

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300066067

Category: Social Science

Page: 432

View: 6379

In a highly critical appraisal of rational choice theories, Bunge insists that these models provide no solid substantive theory of society, nor do they help guide rational action. He offers ten criteria by which to evaluate philosophies of social science and proposes novel solutions to social science's methodological and philosophical problems.