The mind what is a rational mind

12 2. The dualism of body and mind 2.1 Modernity, Rationality and Descartes “When a sociology later asks itself what has been the most tremendous historical change in man's external insertion into life, the one that deeply touches all of his life has overturned, it will surely always redraw the process that led over from this state to the present day, from the 'grown' state of all forms of life in the rational organization - the process that represents the actual social revolution of the nineteenth century. " (Alfred Weber 1979: 33) Modernity is often understood as a 'project of rationalization': In the western-modern self-image, people have got rid of their 'dark' (traditional) past and can now make their own choices in the light of their reasonable thinking and their belief in science Ignorance and powerlessness rise to the level of “interlocutor G ottes "(cf. Vester 1984: 61), on the creator and designer of order. With the aid of his rationally proceeding intellect, man is able to recognize and use the laws of the world, nature and society. He now sees himself able to take his fate into his own hands and to organize society consciously and according to rational criteria. These assumptions, which are certainly not undisputed, but central in the history of modernity, are based on a worldview that was systematized by the physicist, philosopher and rationalist René Descartes, among others. It would be simplistic to portray Descartes as the founder of the philosophy that later influenced the Western tradition of thought in one way or another (cf.Vester 1984: 62) - he is rather to be seen as part of a cultural development, as its representative however, the following is intended to serve Descartes’s assumptions are preceded by a long philosophical and theological tradition, especially those about the nature of thought and the ego in relation to the world as an asymmetrical relationship between spiritual substance (res cogitans) and inanimate matter that can be controlled (res extensa). Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976) writes pointedly: "Descartes' theories, formulated in Galileo's new syntax, were merely reformulations of theological doctrines about the soul that were already widespread at that time" (Ryle 1969 [1949]: 24). In Cartesian philosophy there are Stoic-Augustinian theories of the will and Platonic and Aristotelian theories of the human understanding (cf. ibid .: 24), albeit in a specific interpretation that is expressed in Descartes' program in an intensification of ideas about the Nature 13 of the thinking subject revealed. According to the maxim of Cartesian doubt named after him, all knowledge and all knowledge must first be doubted and the world must be constituted on the basis of the only sure thing - the thinking self (cf. Joas 1992a: 28f). According to Descartes, the only methodologically valid and unequivocal and logical proof is that of one's own existence. In the famous saying “cogito ergo sum” Descartes finds evidence of his own existence beyond any doubt. Any other knowledge of the world can be doubted at first. On the basis of the specific nature of his proof, Descartes derives his view of a spiritual 'I': "It's thinking, it alone cannot be separated from me: I am, I exist, that is certain. [...] So I am exactly just a thinking thing (res cogitans) [...] And what does that mean? Well, - a thing that doubts, sees, affirms, denies, wants, does not want and which also has imagination and feeling Thinking - and finds it inevitable for him in the fact of thinking itself: If I can doubt my own existence in thinking, then I must at least exist in order to be able to do so. So I know with absolute certainty that I exist. First of all, no other feeling, no sensory impression, no knowledge of the world should be trusted than the fact, which has been proven by logic, that it is I myself who thinks (cf. Crossley 2001: 9). Descartes then jumps directly from the “proof” of the existence of a subject to the assumption that this would also prove the specific qualities of a subject - namely the spiritual ones. Accordingly, in logical thinking and trusting that God in his nature as a perfect and benevolent being does not want to deceive us, the world can be grasped (cf. ibid .: 10). By virtue of the spirit alone, Descartes gains security from the senses. If - as in an example given by him - he looks out of the window and sees hats and coats there, it is not people who show him his senses: he sees hats and coats. And yet he knows that people pass by in front of his window, he can gain certain knowledge through thinking. “And yet I see nothing but the hats and clothes that machines could hide under! But I judge that they are people. And so I recognize what I thought I saw with my eyes solely through the ability to judge inherent in my mind. ”(Descartes 1965 [1641]: 25) In Descartes' imagination, the primacy of all knowledge manifests itself as one of metaphysical spirit separate from the world, which must grasp the world behind the sensual in its true nature. Descartes is well aware 14 that - in order to stay in the picture - hats and coats first have to be recognized and exist as 'ideas' for the subject, so to speak, in order to be able to draw conclusions in thinking. “But now there is a certain passive ability to be felt in me, i. H. to take in and recognize the ideas of sensory things […]. ”(ibid .: 68) Descartes accepts the fact that man is supplied with ideas as a given circumstance and places this 'supply' in the realm of a mechanistic corporeality of res extensa. Everything that is not recognizable intentionally, through direct conscious action, is defined as alien to the subject for itself. “And this [the active ability to evoke these ideas; P.S.] can in fact not be in me, since it has no thought activity as a prerequisite, and since those ideas are not aroused by my doing, but often against my will. All that remains is that it is in some substance that is different from me. ”(Ibid .: 68) For Descartes, the separation of mind and body is of an existential nature. The res extensa, which is fundamentally different from the subject, is governed by universal principles or natural laws - guaranteed by a reasonable God. "[...] that I also became aware of certain laws that God gave nature and of which he has impressed terms on our soul, which, once we have thought about it enough, leave us in no doubt that these laws apply to everything that is based on of the world is or is happening. "(Descartes 1960 [1637]: 33) Descartes' world becomes a world in which" animals and plants [...] are also thought of as automatons that move mechanically " (Waldenfels 2000: 18). Even one's own body is not part of the subject, but is assigned to matter controlled by laws. The subject is completely spirit, is completely thinking, and not body: "I am not that structure of limbs that is called the human body." (Descartes 1965 [1641]: 20f) This is how Descartes defines the substance of the spirit - the res cogitans - as an indivisible, thinking substance that does not expand in space and is not subject to the laws of the physical world and is understandable by itself in an act of thoughtful and logically derived introspection. “The mind thinks and knows that it thinks; it knows, and knows that it knows. It is self-transparent ”(Crossley 2001: 10). Such a conception of man in the context of the sciences emerging in Descartes' time and the mechanistically explainable universe that emerged therein is on the one hand the legitimation and recognition of the power of science and technology, paired on the other hand with a defense and expansion of the dignity and role of the People in nature. If man were part of physical nature, he too would have to bow to the universal laws and unambiguous causalities. Consequently, humans must not and cannot be part of the physical world. If the physical world is to be manageable - because it is predictable - if it functions according to clear, discoverable laws, it must remain separate from what the human being is (cf. also ibid .: 11). By making the doubting and thinking ego the foundation of his philosophy, Descartes propagates on the one hand the emerging ideas about the nature of the world, its comprehensibility, controllability and predictability, and on the other hand legitimizes the special role of a distanced, independent positioning of humans in nature and society ( see Joas 1992b: 188). The human task is accordingly to use reason and thinking "[...] to come to knowledge which is of great use for life, [...] which gives us the power and mode of action of fire, water, air, stars, the We learn to know celestial matter and all other bodies as well as we know the various techniques of our craftsmen, so that we use them in the same way for all purposes for which they are suitable and thus make ourselves masters and owners of nature can. ”(Descartes 1960 [1637]: 50) Order is increasingly no longer considered to be given or to be accepted by God, but rather to be created by man:“ all self-evident values ​​of the world in relation to consciousness - including that of the body of the thinker as a component of this world and the other subjects of this world - [were] eliminated. ”(Joas 1992b: 188) The individual is emancipated and becomes an authority out of himself (cf. Suhr 1994: 79). Descartes bequeaths a point of view to the modern age and modern age, which ascribes the power, the legitimation and the duty of the 'reasonable' shaping of the world to the rational person. 2.2 Freedom vs. Determination According to Descartes, the world in which one finds oneself is a contradicting one: on the one hand, when looking at the world, everything seems to be comprehensible and reducible to universal mechanistic laws, on the other hand, however, the human being is spirit and only to understand only from within. The free man should understand the external, object-like world through thought and rule it. However, the contradiction contained therein, the inevitable trap of the logical conclusion that any freedom can only be of a fictional nature if man interacts in a mechanistic world and thus within a closed system of mechanistic causalities, can be explained by the postulation of a substantial separation of spirit and the body alone cannot be eliminated from human consciousness.4 Descartes thus only provides a 'quasi-solution' which cannot prevent the existential crisis of being and human freedom from repeatedly resurfacing when confronted with the natural sciences increases. If one follows Heinz-Günther Vester, there are accordingly two traditions of thought in the social sciences that can be traced back to Descartes: one “more to the philosopher, the other more to the physicist Descartes” (Vester 1984: 62). Either “man is conceived as a pure spirit being; or as a physical mechanism ”(ibid .: 62). On the one hand, there are attempts to relocate society to the free, individual and intentional consciousness of people and to justify people's sociality through their cognitive performance. On the other hand, there are “varieties of metaphysical physicalism” (ibid .: 61) in which an attempt is made to determine the social world through its universal laws. Human theories usually conceive this “one-sidedly from the mind or, beguiled by the natural sciences, one-sidedly from nature” (Waldenfels 1980: 30). This tension between freedom and determination, which can be found in sociology, is to be regarded as an immanent problem of Cartesian or equivalent concepts of subject and knowledge. This tension will be explored in the following in the conception of the mental. Descartes wrote that the mind has two things above all: the freedom of choice (Latin voluntas: desire, intention, inclination, determination, free will) and the ability to recognize (Latin intellectus: understanding, concept, ability to think, understanding ). “Through the intellect alone I only grasp the ideas about which I can then give a judgment, and viewed in this way, there is no real error in it. [...] Nor can I complain that I do not have a sufficiently comprehensive and perfect will from God - i. i. Freedom of choice - would have received. I truly experience from myself that he is not included in any barriers. ”(Descartes 1965 [1641]: 47) 4 If the world is to be theoretically fully explainable, then every circumstance can be translated into endless chains of causality. All aspects of the world merge clearly and coherently. But if the human mind is not determined by the laws of the physical world, how is it supposed to appear in the physical chains of causality? How is an immaterial spirit supposed to trigger something in its physical body that can only be triggered by physical action? Under the given conditions, logic commands: Either world and spirit are determined by the same universal laws; or both world and mind do not function according to universal laws. 17 Two different emphases of the tension between freedom and determination can be derived from this: Under the emphasis on voluntas there are in particular ideas of the free individual; The starting point is Descartes' idea that man is essentially free: "Descartes understood [...] that a free act was an absolutely new creation, the germ of which could not have been contained in an earlier state of the world" (Sartre 1962 : 47). The spirit is the guarantor and epitome of freedom. God has given man “a will [...] which extends further than the understanding” (Descartes 1965 [1641]: 51). The social - as a space of free, intentionally acting individuals - cannot therefore be derived from universal laws, but is the product of people's decisions. Social theory conceived in this way is an uncertain thing and cannot establish any real regularities, since any regularity found can be overturned by the decisions of individuals. Basically, social science can only be carried out insofar as one considers restrictions on freedom and needs of the individual by fellow human beings (Sartre: "L'enfer, c'est les autres.") In order to make statements about society to a small extent to be able to. If, on the other hand, the emphasis is more on the intellectus, the result is an ideology of rational knowledge (Latin: rationalis: reasonable, according to reason). In looking at an objective world, the actor takes himself out of it and at the same time places himself in a specific (alienated) relationship to the world. Basically, in this perspective, the actor controls himself via his given intellectual and cognitive abilities (Latin cogitare: to think). The world opens up to the subject through rational thinking, everything else corresponds to irrational, blind and animal-organic reaction (cf. Descartes 1960 [1637]: 46). In analyzing the structures of social behavior, the focus is on discovering general laws governing the actions of others. One's own assumptions about world domination and free will only come to light as a contradiction when the subject adds himself to the created image, that is, when subject and object of knowledge coincide. As long as the claim to one's own freedom is not explicitly compared with the implicit assumptions about the world, this (ver) version initially appears to be free of contradictions in one's own practice and laws of the world can be constructed and used. The contradiction between freedom and determination is not only found in the confrontation with a mechanistic 'outside', but also within the spiritual. If the human being is primarily controlled by the intellect, the only thing left for the voluntas is to want what the rational and unambiguous knowledge of the world prescribes for it.This is exactly what Descartes demands: 18 You have to use your intellect and your will in the correct order, everything else leads to error: “[...] since natural insight teaches me that understanding the understanding must always precede the determination of the will. And in this incorrect use of my freedom of choice lies the deficiency which defines the concept (formam) of error. ”(Descartes 1960 [1637]: 50) Man has the freedom not to use his intellect correctly, to judge prematurely and to err - but this is unreasonable. Here freedom becomes a lack. If the mind is to lead to generally valid knowledge, the free choice is broken as soon as the prescribed mode of knowledge is sufficiently fulfilled. The Cartesian philosophy postulates the freedom of the human being, but at the same time eliminates this with the demand for an intellectual mode of knowledge and a belief in the primacy of the intellect. Descartes’s legacy, which is relevant for sociology, is to be found in my opinion primarily in the emphasis on the intellectus as an epistemological understanding. According to Descartes, our will extends further than our understanding; In describing the concepts of error and unambiguous knowledge, Descartes leverages this freedom again: "And so I recognize with certainty that error as such is not something real, dependent on God, but only a defect." (Descartes 1965 [1641]: 45) Before the action, there should therefore be the choice of the only 'true, beautiful and good' created by the intellect and not questionable, whereby Descartes understands precisely this as the highest form of freedom: “And although I absolutely do If I were free, I could never be undecided. ”(ibid .: 48) Descartes describes a subjective feeling of freedom: people can, according to their individual personality and experience, act as they see fit and necessary. This form of 'felt' freedom is, however, fundamentally different from the freedom on which he previously based his conception of the subject and which meant independence in principle from the determinations of the world. Descartes thus commits a category error. Such a subject conception, with a monopoly of reason on a thinking mind, is to be understood as a defining-prescribing legacy for modern times and modern times. Ryle also refers us to the fact that “[…] both philosophers and laypeople tend to treat intellectual processes as the core of all mental and emotional behavior; that is, they tend to define all other terms for mental and emotional behavior in terms of knowledge. They assume that the most important mental activity consists in answering questions. ”(Ryle 1969 [1949]: 27) 19 This understanding shapes the everyday relationship to and the experience and explanation of the world:“ This is how they [the philosophers; P.S.] the idea that the faculty of knowledge of truth is the essential quality of the mind. Other human faculties could only be regarded as spiritual if it could be shown that they were somehow guided by the intellectual apprehension of true sentences. Acting sensibly therefore meant letting one's non-theoretical inclinations be guided by one's knowledge of the truths about one's way of life. ”(Ibid .: 28) Mathematical-logical thinking becomes the one-sided promise of freedom and power. On the one hand, however, there is a lack of insight that logic is a pure tool for application to finished objects and their qualities, which neglects the question of the origin of the perception of the objects.5 On the other hand, such a conception of reason is severely narrowing and prevented the consideration of other existential areas of human existence as reasonable: such as intuition, feeling, emotion etc. The picture that is drawn as the most perfect expression of human existence through the propagation of mathematical-logical thinking is ultimately the picture of the machine - the Descartes wanted to escape - very close. In a similar form, Max Weber also points out that as a result of the rationalization processes of modernity, on the one hand, humans became more predictable in analogy to machines, and on the other hand, the knowledge of the individual about his own conditionalities was by no means expanded (cf. Weber 1913: 150). 2.3 Ideal-type conception of intellectualistic theory of action The term mentalistic intellectualism is intended to mean the interpretation of Descartes' just elaborated - with emphasis on the intellectual ability intellectus - for further work. 6 In the following, ideal-typical aspects of an intellectualistic conception of social action are presented, which also includes to draw over the individual points for the purpose of illustration. 5 If Descartes assigns the 'delivery' of ideas either to an external mechanistic authority or to God, then ultimately there is no creative, creative, or creative body on the subject's side. but only an exclusive and executive part according to logical rules. 6 For practical reasons, while maintaining the meaning in the following, only 'intellectualism' or 'intellectualistic' will be spoken of instead of a 'mentalistic intellectualism'. This is a permanent feature of our time and society, but it certainly has an influence that should not be underestimated, both in everyday life and in science as a "tacit assumption" (cf. Joas 1992b: 230). But before this happens, the terms used are first defined more precisely. 2.3.1 Explanation of terms In social science literature, the terms “mentalism” and “intellectualism” are often used synonymously. A look at the lexica of sociology shows: “Mentalistic, term for psychological and sociological theories that seek to explain behavior with the help of assumptions about mental processes and structures or terms that relate to such processes and structures refer to, use in their explanations. The term is mostly used by behaviorist-oriented researchers in a critical sense. ”(Fuchs-Heinritz et al. 2007: 425) and:“ Intellectualism, epistemological. View, which, in contrast to voluntarism and emotionalism, is especially important. regards the rational (Æ rationalism) stage of the cognitive process as the origin of cognition. In the derogatory sense, I. is a term that criticizes scientific views, especially on processes in human Organism and in society, which consider all actions, all business processes and intellectual achievements as the results of intellectual considerations and thus neglect the effects of the unconscious and the emotional and will forces. ”(Hillmann 1994: 379) The definitions of the manuals can largely retained. However, in the understanding on which this is based, a theory should also be considered intellectualistic if it relocates the control of the subject to the unconscious, as long as the control of behavior is assigned to whatever kind of intellectual information-processing quasi-subject in the subject or, on the other hand, 'intelligence' is viewed solely as an inherent thought process, whereas blind or irrational reactions are assigned to a biological-animal 'remnant' or a mechanistic materiality. This means that the mere fact that a theory sometimes also argues about the unconscious does not necessarily mean a definition as non-intellectualistic - just as, conversely, a theory that sometimes also argues about the cognitive does not necessarily have to be intellectualistic. 21 Correspondingly, this also means that with Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), for example, the intellectualistic view was not broken. Freud's so-called "third great offense of humanity" 7 due to the clarification of the 'animal' instinctuality of man (cf. Vester 1984: 88f) changed the then widespread (bourgeois-disciplined) view, but not the basic positioning and comparison of spirit and Body. The 'family membership' of the Freudian conception with these very conceptions is, on the contrary, almost obvious: Freud's theory advocates the ideal that the rationally comparing ego must recognize and fill in the animal-impulsive and unconscious id ("Where it was, I should become") . 'Below' there is the animal instinct and is part of the human being that has to be recognized and worked on, which must be 'conveyed' rationally. What Freud left behind is the continuation of an ideology of rational reflection. While Descartes' model still offers a momentary introspective access to our inner being, Freud points out that there, too, there is initially a biological, blind and unfree 'something' waiting, which only becomes really human in a disciplinary process of cultural knowledge and socialization (see also Vester 1984: 89). 2.3.2 Characteristics of the intellectualistic theory of action a) Mind as the subject of the action For a theory of action, the conception of the subject of the action is of particular importance. The central idea of ​​intellectualism is that there is a spiritual I or a self, which, as the actual agent of the action, controls the body “from within”. Classically, there is a simple arc of effects: the world reveals itself to the mind or the self through the senses conveyed by the body, the mind reacts with thinking, knowledge, weighing, interpretation and intention and commands the body to issue these 'commands' as possible, executes. "Above [sits] the reason and below the animal." (Waldenfels 2000: 144) In the classical version everything spiritual is to be equated with consciousness, in other versions - especially since Freud - mental processes are only partially consciously and rationally controllable (cf. . Neuweg 2001: 60f). An actual separation of substances is not necessarily assumed; Instead, evolutionary-biological or culturalistic theories can be used to explain the existence or genesis of a controlling I in the body (i.e. an 'entity in humanity'): the heliocentric view of the world, the theory of evolution and the 'discovery' of the unconscious. 22 of the entity ') can be used. The basic picture, however, remains the same: the actual subject of the action stands behind the human being: as a spiritual subject who acts through the body in the world. The body is granted a certain independence in the form of reflexes or purely reactive action (cf. ibid .: 60), and there are also variants of internalization or automation of conscious content and henceforth independent knowledge bases (e.g. internalization at Berger / Luckmann 2001: 143). What all variants of intellectualistic assumptions have in common, however, is that simple and blind reaction is the world of the body or of a subconscious area; Control, on the other hand, is the domain of the thinking ego or mind. So the mind can lose control of the body, especially if it is not paying enough attention or will. The failure of a person in an act about which he 'has' enough knowledge and of which he should be physically capable is therefore primarily due to insufficient control of the mind over the body. b) Thinking as the basis of rationality Actions are accordingly only meaningful or intelligent if they have been reflected or thought through beforehand, i.e. if calculation and consideration - or as Ryle calls it: a "theorizing" (Ryle 1969 [1949]: 32) - precede the action. Ascribed thinking behind an action thus becomes an assessment criterion for the action. "An act must be accompanied by a thought in order to be intelligent or meaningful as thoughts are the source of meaning and intelligence." (Crossley 2001: 14) Only 'right' thinking can lead to 'right' action. According to this legend, doing something and having your thoughts on the thing you are doing is always doing two things, namely, firstly, considering certain appropriate sentences or regulations and, secondly, putting into practice what these sentences or regulations dictate. It is first a little theory and then a little practice. ”(Ryle 1969 [1949]: 32) According to this point of view, an action in the full extent of its definition is only given if it has been thought, weighed and decided. 'Correct' thinking fulfills the quality that it is formal-logical, that is, a comparison of true sentences within the individual (cf. Lakoff / Johnson 1999: 392). All types of actions that do not meet this scheme are condemned to be viewed as a residual category and thus ultimately as an influence or environmental factor on 'real' action. Aspects of the individual that do not correspond to the ideal type of the theorizing and reflective actor thus appear in a corresponding conception only as a factor that influences human action, but does not generate it. Thus, an intellectualist theory creates a blind spot because 'environmental factors', e.g. B. one's own body, in this perspective can only be ascertained and ascertained in its respective 'being'. c) Emotions and feelings - cultivated volition vs. animal cravings In an intellectualistic view of human action, affects also take on the role of the residual category mentioned above. They are not conceived as constitutive of the action, but fundamentally as a circumstance of the action - and also mostly as disturbing and irrational. They are part of the animal body, but not of the 'true' human nature (see Lakoff / Johnson 1999: 392). For example, wanting something is an act of will, not a passion; The assessment of something as true or good is not a perspective assessment that is also based on emotions, but rather an existing fact of the world before any sociality. Man's affects are ultimately unruly animal and unreasonable holdovers that must be disciplined by the mind. In the intellectualistic picture, animal desires and cultivated 'will' are opposed as opposites. d) Perception as a distant image From an intellectualistic perspective, perception corresponds to meaningless images or the conveyance of information, whereby the optical sense generally dominates. From a distance the mind looks at an objective world separate from it; the body delivers images via the senses that need to be interpreted in a knowledge-based manner using the mind (cf. Lakoff / Johnson 1999: 393). 'Perception' thus takes place through a 'viewer within the viewer' and is therefore the observation of an inwardly shifted image of the external world. The 'imaging apparatus', however, is both fallible and incomplete, which is why special mental achievements are required to see the higher truth behind the images. This understanding can be clarified once again by the example of Descartes already quoted above for the assessment of hats and coats (cf. Descartes 1965 [1641]: 25): Descartes inferred the existence of people solely by virtue of his mind, although his senses only for him Transmit moving clothing. In a weakened variant, this interpretation by the mind is not necessarily knowledge-based, but rather is to be understood based on experience. 24 e) Linguistically coded knowledge as ability "'Knowledge" is ability within the framework of the intellectualistic legend, provided it is only properly structured and, if necessary, sufficiently practiced and "proceduralized". Competency, which is completely resolved into linguistically formulated rule systems, can also be fully communicated and transferred between individuals; that such an explication and atomization is possible, therein lies the promise of an intellectualistic didactic. Anyone who assumes a reciprocal transferability of declarative and procedural knowledge will consequently take the view that ability can be significantly promoted through the linguistic transmission of rule systems. ”(Neuweg 2001: 111) In the intellectualistic picture, human beings correspond to a computer, which according to internal logical Rules operate: the body is the hardware, the mind is the software, all you need is the right data to work with. To pass on ability means to make knowledge available in linguistic form in such a way that the mind of another individual can absorb and process this information and accordingly has the same power to act.Skill is therefore based on thinking and knowledge. Knowledge is defined by its linguistic explicability and its formal-logical structure, so that learning functions as an enrichment of transferable knowledge in the mind (cf. Suhr 1994: 69). Language is therefore considered to be an explicit coded ability. In the classic image, there is a mental content in the speaker's consciousness, which is translated according to rules and transferred to another consciousness (cf. Schneider 2000: 22). Language thus becomes a means of passing on the knowledge and skills that determine society and thus the basis of social action. 2.4 Intellectualistic 'bias' in action theory using Weber's example On the basis of the ideal-typical characteristics of intellectualistic action theory that have been worked out, action concepts can now be analyzed for an intellectualistic 'bias'. In accordance with the limited scope of this work, this should be done using the work of Max Weber (1864-1920) as an example. For this I take up a criticism by Hans Joas, who in his treatise on theories of action refers to a rational 'bias' in sociology (cf. Joas 1992a). Joas accuses the classics of never having overcome Weber's classification of actions from 'rational' to 'irrational'. Among other things, the problem is the implicit understanding of a decreasing degree of rationality in epistemological reflection along this classification. Sociology appears to be a project to explain that (empirically predominant) part of irrational actions that rational theory cannot grasp. Above all, the implicit valuation of all types of action in relation to the full concept of the reflective, means-weighing actor is precarious; Sociology has not succeeded in circumventing this, i.e. a neutral consideration of the various types of action (cf. ibid .: 292). I am now submitting this criticism to a brief revision, taking into account the previously developed understanding of an intellectualistic view. Weber's methodological starting point lies in the assumption that there are two types of understanding: on the one hand the rational, mathematical-logical, on the other hand the emotional, artistic-receptive (cf. Weber 1984 [1922]: 20). For Weber, however, only the rational understanding of the other can serve as the basis for a scientific understanding of human action: "In the field of action, what is rationally evident is above all that which is completely and transparently intellectually understood in its intended context." (Ibid .: 20) In the analysis according to Weber, the highest degree of intersubjective evidence lies in the action that is intellectually comprehensible in thinking. This corresponds most closely to the ideal type of purposeful action. The thought ratio for itself is intersubjectively comprehensible, but perceived understanding by its nature is not. If necessary, the researcher must be satisfied with initially interpreting non-rational action in an intellectual way (cf. ibid .: 21). Rational action can accordingly be understood and understood by everyone, empathy or emotional understanding, on the other hand, is something that we can only succeed if we can subjectively experience exactly the same emotions in us. “Current affects […] and the […] irrational reactions that follow from them, the more we are accessible to them ourselves, the more evidently we are able to relive emotionally, but in any case, even if their degree exceeds our own possibilities, it makes sense to understand empathetically and to intellectually take into account their impact on the direction and means of action. ”(ibid .: 21) The ability to objectively understand the affects of the other is limited; accordingly, one can only roughly estimate how they affect someone. Weber deduces from this for the scientific method that in order to be able to make statements, a scientist first has to determine in the analysis of the action how a rationally acting actor would have acted in a given situation - the deviations of the real action from the constructed ideal-typical image due to irrational “distractions” which the scientist has to determine and research (cf. ibid .: 2ff). 26 "For the type-forming scientific consideration, all irrational, affectually conditioned, meaningful relationships of behavior that influence action are most easily explored as 'distractions' from a constructed, purely rational course of the same." (Ibid .: 21) The affects are thus viewed as 'environmental factors' of the subject and its actual constitution of action. As conclusively as Weber derives this approach - although he explicitly 'only' wants to recommend a method and not make any statement about human nature8 - he ultimately creates an analytical instrument that implicitly suggests an understanding of how reason is made possible solely through reflection and calculation . Because the analysis initially starts with a course of action designed in mathematical-logical reflection, the researcher implicitly assumes that 1. Reason is generally objective in nature, i.e. there is only one form of reason that is always and for everyone reveals the same intellectually comprehensible and valid criteria everywhere; 2. It would actually be possible for man - and this would also be in the interests of the actor - to follow the objective mathematical-logical design of an action, but he does not succeed in doing so due to irrational influences from his imperfect nature; 3. Reason is based solely on thinking and irrationality on non-thinking and affects. In this picture, action is fundamentally lacking in intelligence if - as was the case with Descartes - there is insufficient prior reflection and there is insufficient discipline in relation to the irrational elements of the human being in the course of the process. It is crucial that, according to Weber, the different degrees of reflection should also go hand in hand with a different degree of reason. This becomes particularly clear in the distinction between mere 'self-behavior' and really meaningful action as well as the corresponding assignment of traditional and affective action to irrational and dull 'self-behavior' (cf. ibid .: 21; cf. also Meuser 2006: 98). An act in the full scope of the definition can only be an act if a process of recognition and weighing determines the act; It becomes irrational 'self-behavior' when affects or habits take control. 8 Weber warns urgently against the danger of exaggerated rationalistic interpretation in the wrong place (cf. Weber 1984 [1922]: 22). 27 Joas' criticism of the rational 'bias' of sociology can thus be reinforced using Weber's example, insofar as Weber differentiates and evaluates actions on the basis of the degree of rationality expressed in it with regard to various goals. Since the different types of action in Weber's conception are not value-free distinctions, the scientific instrument of creating ideal types implicitly makes the extent of 'reasonable' reflection on goals the quality criterion of action. It might be objected - to keep the terminology apart - that Weber's 'bias' is not a rationalist one, insofar as Weber does not assume that the ratio is the basic pattern of human behavior. Weber's 'bias', however, can definitely be described as intellectualistic, insofar as reason is only possible through reflection and it is also assumed that reason is characterized by a mathematical-logical procedure. The own (cultural) self-evident 'ideal' actions thus become data that do not need to be explained: The rational mathematical-logical thinking is considered to be intersubjective. Purposeful action appears, even if Weber did not intend to do so, as an ability that is anchored in human nature and only concealed by irrational impulses, and implicitly means an anthropological postulation of being.9 This type of analysis, however, excludes the possibility of purposeful action as a specifically trained, cultivated or acquired ability and to be able to find and explain a 'different' reason in both reflected and non-reflective actions. 3. The praxeological theory 3.1 To overcome Cartesianism in sociology The 'forgetting of the body' of sociology - or of modern academic thought in general - which is criticized by body sociology, is not necessarily as all-encompassing as it may appear from time to time. Since the beginning of sociology there has been a multitude of works that address the body, even if they do not make it the explicit basis of a social theory (cf. Shilling 2003: 8f). With these works, as with those of the 'newer' sociology of the body, the question arises whether the mere introduction of the human body as a subject area will or can eliminate the lamented Cartesianism. Descartes himself never claimed that he could not do 9 culture better to prevent the irrational "disturbances" in order to reveal the rational, "true core" of the human being.