|Reasons and Intentions|
2007, 200 S, 10 Illustr, Gb, (Springer)
The central theme of this volume is the relation between intentions and reasons. There are various ways in which the relevant questions could be introduced. One particularly fruitful way is by considering a crucial problem in the area of practical rationality. The dominant conception of practical rationality in the social sciences, especially within economics, as well as in philosophy is that of instrumental rationality. Rationality, on this view, is concerned with the individual selection of actions that are most effective and efficient in realizing the preferences of the agent, given her beliefs. The principal theoretical expression of this conception is the so-called theory of rational choice. Though the dominant position of this theory would suggest otherwise, it has been under constant attack.
|For a large part, the criticism comes from authors who reject the underlying conception of instrumental rationality. Rationality, so they claim, is concerned with the selection of ends as well as meanS Instrumental rationality, and with it rational choice theory, at best partially expresses our concept of rationality. However, there is also internal criticism from authors who accept the notion of instrumental rationality, but deny that orthodox rational choice theory is the best expression of that notion. Such critics point to several anomalies and difficulties within the standard theory.|