Popper’s ontology of situated human action

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):455-486 (2002)
Abstract
Popper’s version of situational analysis, with its focus on the logic of situations and the rationality principle, fails to provide cogent explanations of the human decisions and actions underpinning social phenomena. It so fails because where he demanded objectivism and formalism in the social sciences, his substantive arguments lost contact with the psychological and subjectivist realities of the human realm. But Popper also devised some key elements of a social ontology. It is argued that although there are crucial gaps in his ontology, it can be augmented to give situational analysis the potential to reach beyond pure logic and rationality and to bring social theory closer to grasping the real world of human action
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