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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

Print version ISSN 0102-6909

Abstract

LESSA, Celia de Andrade. RACIONALIDADE ESTRATÉGICA E INSTITUIÇÕES. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 1998, vol.13, n.37, pp. 129-148. ISSN 0102-6909.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-69091998000200008.

The article discusses some problematic aspects related to the notion of strategic rationality as it has been developed in the context of game theory. The emphasis is particularly placed on the game theoretical pretension of providing unequivocal criteria for rational choices under uncertainty, as uncertainty is an element of so-called strategic interactions (where individuals try to foresee each other's actions when trying to achieve their ends). In so doing, however, the theory usually overlooks the element of endogeneity that typically surrounds these interactions. It is contended that an extremely rationalistic approach to strategic interactions, as well as to their peculiar uncertainty, is detrimental to the rational solution of the situation. Moreover, it is suggested that the intellectual cooperation between game theory and the institutionalist research program is most welcome for that matter. The institutional approach here focused has its roots in the social philosophical tradition that poses the question "what can we know?" starting out from a peculiar vision of the social world where individual rationality plays a limited role.

Keywords : Rationality; Choice under uncertainty; Game theory; Institutions; Common knowledge.

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