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Rational-choice hermeneutics

Rational choice and hermeneutics seem at odds, but the tension can be fruitfully resolved. The conflict between them closely mirrors the earlier conflict between historicism and positivism. In inter-war Vienna, an influential group of social scientists tried to combine the best elements of both approaches. Rational choice was united with Verstehen and the method of ideal types, as evidenced by the works of Lionel Robbins and Alfred Schutz, among others. Although the two methodologies have again diverged, it is possible to merge them. Drawing on the insights of Alfred Schutz, this article constructs a framework for modern rational-choice hermeneutics.

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