The purpose here is to study the behaviour of different types of actors within a heterogeneous population, as well as their interactions, from a pluridisciplinary point of view. Through a cross analysis of the fields of economics, sociology and philosophy, we try to establish the dimensions of the notion of social complexity, particularly that which concerns the architecture of knowledge, the co-construction of representations and the complex mediation processes which the interacting agents require. Therefore, this study concerns a world where the actor is plural in the sense described by Bernard Lahire; the latter takes us to Jon Elster’s notion of the multi-self. This plural character is seen here using different coding processes as manipulations of symbols and overcoding processes; as manipulations of codes among themselves.
The basic question confronting us here brings us to the interaction between the notions of social identity, social complexity and complex action, which gives rise to the occurrence of the different forms of engagement - to be taken into account in the sense used by Laurent Thévenot - related to the behaviours of actors participating in the emergence and development of social networks, of forums, like hybrid forms emerging from the modeling of complex systems as described by Herbert Simon.
From a methodological point of view, the paradigms of methodological individualism and holism are abandoned by taking the systemic approach based on the interactionist paradigm. The works of Mark Granovetter and his notion of embeddedness, as well as those of Harrison White on his notion of decoupling, are used in order to develop this analysis and thus to establish the links between codes, overcodes and different types of device Chapter One 2within the meaning of the aesthetics of philosophy. The purpose here is to lend epistemological content to the actor-network notion within the meaning of the sociology of translation as artefact in the sense used by Simon.
The operating character of this type of modelling rests in particular on cognitive shortcuts, whose nature is closely linked with the identity of actors.
At this level, we examine the link existing between the autonomy of actors and the different forms of engagement participating in the emergence of hybrid structures, and we study this emergence in terms of opacity and ambiguity.
There are two important discussions of commitment in economic literature: one is commitment à la Elster and Schelling, which is related to self-binding choices and means that the person has the desire to restrict the future set of options. The other is commitment à la Sen, which implies a different rationality from the standard maximization rationality and means that the person can choose an option which is not necessarily best for her. In this paper, we set out to show that these two discussions of commitment are related. We do so by presenting a theory of choice under motivation conflict , followed by a discussion of the consequences that the reading of commitment through motivation conflict has on well-being.