Action Theory: An Overview
Action theory is a branch of philosophy that deals with the study of human action. It is concerned with the causes of human action, the nature of the action itself, and its consequences. It has been used to explain a wide variety of human behaviors, from the mundane to the extraordinary. Action theory has been used to understand social movements, political decision-making, economic activity, and even individual decisions.
The theory of action is rooted in the work of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and other influential thinkers. Marx focused on the relationship between the individual and the social structure in which the individual is embedded. Weber argued that the individual is the source of his or her action and that the individual is responsible for the outcomes of his or her actions.
Action theory can be divided into two main categories: intentional and unintentional. Intentional action is when an action is taken with a specific goal in mind. Unintentional action is when an action is taken without any conscious intention.
Theories of action can be used to explain social behavior. For example, social exchange theory is an action theory which states that people act in their own self-interest and that their actions are determined by the cost-benefit analysis of the situation. Rational choice theory is another action theory which states that people act in their own rational self-interest and that their actions are determined by the cost-benefit analysis of the situation.
Action theory can also be used to explain political behavior. Political behavior is often seen as a type of action in which individuals attempt to achieve a desired outcome by influencing the political process. This is often done through voting, lobbying, and other forms of political participation.
Action theory has also been used to explain economic behavior. Economic behavior is seen as a type of action in which individuals attempt to maximize their economic well-being by making decisions about how to allocate resources. This is often done through investment, production, and consumption decisions.
In conclusion, action theory is a branch of philosophy that deals with the study of human action. It has been used to explain a variety of human behaviors, from the mundane to the extraordinary. It has been used to explain social behavior, political behavior, and economic behavior.
Beckert, J. (1996). What is action theory? Sociological Theory, 14(2), 180-207.
Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1848). The Communist Manifesto. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
Rational Choice Theory. (2017). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/rational-choice-theory
Weber, M. (1922). Economy and Society. New York, NY: Bedminster Press.