Chapter 4: Rationality and the Janus-faced character of human reason
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Janus was a Roman god who typically was portrayed as facing in opposing directions. Reason is a human capacity that, through its reduction to an ideology, enables a theorist to point in opposing directions. While reason is a universal human quality, it resembles Janus in its ability to face different directions. What enables this two-facedness is the ideology of rationality. The substantive content of rationality can face in opposing directions due to recognition that data can never speak for themselves because they require a theorist to speak for them. Rationality comes in many forms, which renders its Janus-faced quality inescapable. For instance, a theory of public goods can be used to characterize market systems as riven with failure. All the same, a theory of public goods can also be used to explain how people continually develop new institutional arrangements through which they govern their activities.

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