The limits of instrumental rationality in social explanation

Critical Review 13 (1-2):165-189 (1999)
Abstract
Abstract The goal of social explanation is to understand human action, both individual and collective. To do so successfully we must explain action on three distinct (but intertwined) levels: the actors? intentions, the meaning that actors and interpreters ascribe to action, and the structural ideals that govern action. Each level of explanation has certain types of rationality associated with it. Only on the level of intentionality does instrumental rationality assume a prime importance, yet even there it must compete with normative and expressive accounts of action.
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