Rational choice, social identity, and beliefs about oneself



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Aguiar, Fernando and Francisco Díaz, Andrés de (2009) Rational choice, social identity, and beliefs about oneself. Revista Philosophy of the social Sciences, 39 (4). pp. 547-571. ISSN 1552-7441

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Official URL: http://pos.sagepub.com/content/39/4/547.full.pdf


Social identity poses one of the most important challenges to rational choice theory, but rational choice theorists do not hold a common position regarding identity. On one hand, externalist rational choice ignores the concept of identity or reduces it to revealed preferences. On the other hand, internalist rational choice considers identity as a key concept in explaining social action because it permits expressive motivations to be included in the models. However, internalist theorists tend to reduce identity to desire—the desire of a person to express his or her social being. From an internalist point of view, that is, from a viewpoint in which not only desires but also beliefs play a key role in social explanations as mental entities, this article rejects externalist reductionism and proposes a redefinition of social identity as a net of beliefs about oneself, beliefs that are indexical, robust, and socially shaped.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Beliefs, Externalism, Identity, Internalism, Rational choice theory, Rationality
Subjects:Social sciences > Sociology
Social sciences > Sociology > Statistics and social indicators
Social sciences > Sociology > Educational sociology
ID Code:40358
Deposited On:19 Dec 2016 12:56
Last Modified:19 Dec 2016 12:56

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