Individual ahoy!

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (2):319-324 (2010)
Classical thinking on rationality regards it as an all-or-nothing affair. It thus fails to account for the fact that institutions are powerful social factors that frame the contexts within which rational agents supposedly exercise their ability to choose. This poses the classic dilemma: should social explanation refer to individual decisions or to institutions? Wettersten skillfully criticizes some of the most advanced solutions to it, and attempts to formulate a better explanatory unit for the social sciences: the partially rational individual. Since the partially rational individual is also only partially an individual,Wettersten's methodological reconciliation between individualism and holism seems to have some ontological implications too, ones that he seems reluctant to embrace. His book is nevertheless an interesting contribution to the controversy regarding the limits to the explanatory power of social theories
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