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Talcott Parsons on Decisions - Dictionary of Arguments

Habermas IV 333
Decisions/Parsons/Habermas: Parsons thesis: for any situation of action there are five problems which inevitably face each actor in the form of binary schematized general and abstract decision alternatives. (1)
1. Should the actor follow his/her interests directly or allow for normative considerations?
2. Should he/she immediately follow his/her emotions and desires or suppress impulses?
3. Should he/she analyse the situation in a detached way, or should he/she get involved as a participant?
Habermas IV 334
4. Should he/she judge other actors according to their performance or contributions?
5. Should he/she consider concrete objects and actors in their complexity or limit himself/herself to analytically described circumstances?
Parsons gains from this the following table:
1. The private vs. collective interest dilemma: self vs. collectivity orientation.
2. The gratification-discipline dilemma: affectivity vs. affective neutrality.
3. The dilemma of transcendence vs. immanence: universalism vs. particularism.
4. The choice between object modalities: performance vs. quality (achievement vs. diffuseness).
5. The definition of the scope of interest in the object: specitiy vs. diffuseness.
HabermasVsParsons: he has not fulfilled the claim that this table constitutes a system.


1.Talcott Parsons, The Social System, NY 1951, S. 76


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

ParCh I
Ch. Parsons
Philosophy of Mathematics in the Twentieth Century: Selected Essays Cambridge 2014

ParTa I
T. Parsons
The Structure of Social Action, Vol. 1 1967

ParTe I
Ter. Parsons
Indeterminate Identity: Metaphysics and Semantics 2000

Ha I
J. Habermas
Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne Frankfurt 1988

Ha III
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. I Frankfurt/M. 1981

Ha IV
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. II Frankfurt/M. 1981


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