The Analytical Rules of the Method in Social Sciences (II) An analysis of agents

A consequence of the above discussion is that any discussion of method has commitments theorists. It corresponds, then, to raise the commitments to theoretical underlying this discussion of the method.

In the social world there are agents, and there are actions. The basis of the discussion that we will develop below is that the above statement is relevant, and its consequences must be taken into account when we conduct investigations.

What we don’t want to say is that in the social world only there are agents and actions; nor do we want to affirm that the explanation of social phenomena have to be based on these agents. In fact, we don’t even want to raise the claim that the actors are part of the society. The affirmation, even, is compatible with the idea luhmanniana that people are not part of the social, and that the basic unit of social life are communications. But communication –even when it does not include agents – require that there are agents . The intent of the statement is more simple: we cannot overlook the circumstance that in social life there are actors.

The assertion is limited, but has significant consequences. Because the character of the agents, and the characteristics that we assign, we deliver a range of explanations and analysis, and acceptable or not. If we consider that the agents that interest us are, to use the example of the most restrictive, agents are fully rational, then this has effects on the type of analysis that we can perform (using the example luhmanniano, in the type of communications and the connections that these made).

In this text we will limit ourselves to suggest a few consequences of the fact that there are actors in the social life, without going into further details about the type of agents. In principle, the rules that enunciaremos should be valid for all types of agents.

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