Lo spazio della persona. Alcune precisazioni sulle teorie del comportamento razionale e sull’individualismo metodologico
| STUDI DI SOCIOLOGIA - 2003 - 4
According to a certain version of methodological individualism, the concept of person should
not be used in strict sociological analysis, because all we need is referring to idealtypical individuals
acting on the basis of standard reasons. The paper shows that the explanation of individual behaviour
needs, at some crucial points, a good deal more than such a limited concept of social action. Why
individual actors adhere to a given model of rational behaviour, or shift to a new one? When, why
and how preferences and/or beliefs held by the same individual (multiple selves) clash between themselves?
How people in real life come to terms with hard or «tragic» choices (inescapably involving
losses and suffering for somebody)? In all these cases an abstract individual moved by idealtypical
reasons cannot be an adequate explanatory tool. Paradoxically, in the standard version of methodological
individualism it is the subjective dimension that is lacking. An empty space is left, that can
only be filled through a proper use of the concept of person.