RUNNING FROM MADNESS? Sociology’s Dread of the Irrational

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Rationally anchored social action has been a standard feature of social theory since Jeremy Bentham’s “hedonic calculus” (1780), and was institutionalized in Max Weber’s four types of social action (1922). Directly connected with these ideas is “rational choice theory,” most fully developed in the 1980s. Yet the idea that human behavior could accurately be tracked or predicted by a rational model has met with criticisms ever since it was first broached. Karl Mannheim pursued the roots of politically motivated social action along a rationality—irrationality continuum in the 1920s, as had Vilfredo Pareto even earlier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Future of Sociology
Subtitle of host publicationIdeology or Objective Social Science?
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781000630190
ISBN (Print)9781032045047
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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