Abstract
Popper has proposed a ?theory of situational rationality? as a basis for the social sciences. This theory of rational action is reconstructed and its methodological and substantial implications discussed. It is shown that methodologically Popper's idea of rational action leads to a version of theoretical instrumentalism which is incompatible with his general philosophy of science, and that substantially it implies an unacceptable theory of social institutions. Instrumentalism can be avoided by a more contentful theory of human action encompassing ?non?rational? or ?irrational? kinds of action; Popper's theory of institutions might be improved through a more comprehensive theory of collective action.
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DOI 10.1080/00201748808602167
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References found in this work BETA

Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality.Jon Elster - 1983 - Editions De La Maison des Sciences De L'Homme.
Ulysses and the Sirens: Studies in Rationality and Irrationality.Jon Elster (ed.) - 1979 - Editions De La Maison des Sciences De L'Homme.
Logik der Forschung. [REVIEW]E. N. - 1935 - Journal of Philosophy 32 (4):107-108.
Normal Science and its Dangers.Karl Popper - 1970 - In Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press. pp. 51--8.

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Citations of this work BETA

Confuting Popper on the Rationality Principle.Robert Nadeau - 1993 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 23 (4):446-467.
Popper’s Ontology of Situated Human Action.Allen Oakley - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):455-486.

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