Toth [Abstract]

Rationality and irrationality in understanding human behaviour. An evaluation of the methodological consequences of conceptualising irrationality [Full text]

Cosmin Toth  [1]

AbstractSome of the most known and fertile models for understanding human behaviour are those which rest on the assumption of human rationality. These models have specific strategies for dealing with situations in which understanding human behaviour becomes difficult, i.e. cases of irrationality, and this, in turn, leads to particular methodological consequences. The aim of this article is to illustrate and systematize some of the typical theoretical approaches to the issues of rationality and irrationality and their methodological consequences, while warning, at the same time, against the risks of applying rationality models of a pronounced normative-evaluative nature. A number of important methodological consequences of applying the principle of charity to various degrees of strength are analysed and a taxonomic grid for the different ways of approaching rationality is presented.

Keywords: Rationality, rational action, irrationality, principle of charity

[1] Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest, Romania,