Social Science Information 51 (3):311-337 (2012)

Tuukka Kaidesoja
University of Helsinki
The DBO theory of action proposed by analytical sociologists Peter Hedström (2005) aims to provide an action-theoretical basis for building explanatory theories in sociology. Hedström claims that the DBO theory is realistic because it does not make assumptions that are known to be false or seriously incompatible with the current scientific understanding about the nature of human action and cognition. This article nevertheless aims to show that the background assumptions of the DBO theory are not only incomplete, but also unrealistic in the sense that they do not fit with the distributed nature of action-related cognition, which has become a growing topic of interest in recent cognitive sciences. It is also indicated that the neglect of the distributed and embodied aspects of cognition in the DBO theory leads to various biases in the process of constructing mechanism-based explanations of social macro-phenomena. Finally, an alternative approach to action theory is sketched on the basis of this critique.
Keywords action theory  distributed cognition  analytical sociology
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DOI 10.1177/0539018412441750
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The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Minds: Extended or Scaffolded? [REVIEW]Kim Sterelny - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):465-481.

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