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: 7937

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

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: 6391

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.

Ökonomische Theorie der Demokratie

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Author: Anthony Downs

Publisher: Mohr Siebeck

ISBN: 9783165290523

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 303

View: 6206

English summary: It was Anthony Downs' objective to create a model dealing with voter and government behavior. In order to do so, he established goals which governments, parties and lobbyists as well as the voters can pursue. To motivate all those concerned, he introduced the self-interest axiom and called for rationality in order to attain these goals. With the help of marginal analysis, each voter determines his/her party differential, which will help to determine each voter's choice at the ballot box and to decide which party's rule will give him/her greater utility in the future. Downs describes how crucial the concept of ideology is to his theory. He maintains that a two-party democracy could not provide stable and effective government unless there is a large measure of ideological consensus amongst its citizens, and that political parties encouraged voters to be irrational by remaining vague and ambiguous. German description: Anthony Downs' inzwischen klassisches Demokratie-Modell des Wahler- und Regierungsverhaltens orientiert sich an der okonomischen Theorie. Er nimmt an, dass politische Parteien und Wahler in der Verfolgung bestimmter, deutlich spezifizierter Ziele optimal handeln. So treffen die Wahler unter Ungewissheit uber den Wahlvorgang und die zukunftige Regierungsbildung ihre Wahl nach dem mutmasslichen Nutzen. Die Regierung versucht, mit Hilfe der Manipulation des Budgets ihre Wiederwahl zu erreichen.Ideologien der Parteien auf der einen Seite, Interessengruppen auf der anderen stellen den Wahlern bzw. der Regierung Informationen zur rationalen Entscheidungsfindung zur Verfugung. Dabei wird deutlich, dass Mehrparteiensysteme und Verhaltniswahlrecht jedes Wahl-Kalkul unlosbar werden lassen. Auf die weiteren Folgerungen fur Demokratie-Forschung und -Verstandnis geht Downs im letzten Teil seines Werkes ausfuhrlich ein.

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: 7949

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.

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: 4369

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.

Rational Choice Theory and Religion

Summary and Assessment

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Author: Lawrence A. Young

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134953496

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 734

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 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: 3554

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.

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

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"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"

Trusting in Reason

Martin Hollis and the Philosophy of Social Action

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Author: Preston King

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135758530

Category: Political Science

Page: 280

View: 5896

Martin Hollis (d.1998) was arguably the most incisive, eloquent and witty philosopher of the social sciences of his time. His work is appreciated and contested here by some of the most eminent of contemporary social theorists. Hollis's philosophy of social action routinely distinguished between understanding (rational) and explanation (causal). He argued that the aptest account of human interaction was to be made in terms of the first. Thus he focused upon the human reasons, for, rather than upon the natural causes of, action. This volume, for the first time, brings together important essays on the work of Hollis, from many different perspectives. These include politics, sociology and economics in general; international relations, rational choice theory, constitutionalism and the rule of law as well as current concerns with relativism, Rousseauist contractarianism, 'dirty hands' and 'buck-passing'.

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: 9897

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

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: 4630

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.

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: 5977

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.

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: 6583

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

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: 738

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. ​

Anatomie des Sozialen - Prinzipien der analytischen Soziologie

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Author: Peter Hedström

Publisher: Springer-Verlag

ISBN: 9783531153971

Category: Social Science

Page: 226

View: 8937

Einer der weltweit führenden Soziologen, Peter Hedström, zeichnet die Grundlagen einer analytischen Soziologie nach. Er argumentiert für eine erklärende Soziologie, die Theorie und Empirie miteinander verbindet.

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: 9971

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.

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: 3825

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

Rational Choice Theory

Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences

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Author: Michael Allingham

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780415357517

Category: Rational choice theory

Page: N.A

View: 7052