Power, Subject and the Concept of Rational Action

JVF Conference Papers

... But what does it mean exactly to say that persons behave "rationally" in a certain situation or that their expressions can count as "rational?" The question is important because we often tend to reach for a characterization of the concept of rational ity merely in formal terms. Can rationality be seen only as logical consistency? And in this sense can someone who acts in violation of her own interests be considered irrational? In this way of questioning, I would like to touch not only on the foundational issues of how the social sciences should proceed, but also on the much more troublesome issue of how we, as men and women, should properly understand ourselves...

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