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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 16, Issue 1, Enero 2001

Cristina Corredor
Pages 147-166

A Comment on Threats and Communicative Rationality

The article studies two especific forms of social interaction, linguistically mediated: promises and threats. Two pregnant theoretical accounts are to be considered here. Firstly, the analysis propounded within the framework of Game Theory, assuming an intentionalist account of human agency and an instrumentalist concept of rationality; and secondly, the attempt carried out by Speech Acts theorists. In the first case, it can be shown that the theoretical premisses are insufficient to offer a proper account of such basic forms of social interchange. This result gives indirect support, so it is argued, to the second theoretical framework considered. Yet some of the solutions offered seem to be also unsatisfactory. Reasons are given of why it is so, and an attempt of solution, within the same theoretical framework, is suggested.