Présentation
 
2003 - Volume 44 > Numéro 2

ISSN 0035-2969

Coleman’s conversion to rational choice theory :impressions and conjectures
Raymond BOUDON

pp. 375-388

 

Coleman came late to rational choice theory (RCT). He adopted it in reaction to impressionist sociology, which had begun to prosper in the mid 1960s, seeing RCT as a means of consolidating the discipline, which was straying from the scientific ethos. Moreover, from the 1970s to the 1990s, economic thought was being productively applied to sociological and political issues. But Coleman’s main motivation for adhering to RCT was epistemological : RCT produced self-sufficient explanations. What motivated Coleman is comparable to what led Weber to methodological individualism. As early as 1989, in the review Coleman founded, Boudon put forward the idea that with a cognitivist rather than instrumental conception of rationality was possible, which would preserve RCT’s self-sufficiency property while escaping the aporia to which instrumental rationality leads.

 

 

 
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