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Title: The Rules We Live By: Essays on Social Norms
Authors: Martinez, Camilo
Advisors: Pettit, Philip
Contributors: Philosophy Department
Keywords: Culture
Social Norms
Subjects: Philosophy
Issue Date: 2024
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: I study various puzzles arising from the idea that social norms are rational equilibria This means that following these rules is rational for each of us, as long as we expect most other people to adhere to them. The puzzles concern (1) whether rule-following is rational, (2) whether we can be rationally motivated by our expectations of other people’s attitudes and actions, (3) whether these expectations are stable enough to sustain an equilibrium, and (4) whether we see these equilibria as genuine norms, that is, as behaviors we ought to follow. I give a positive answer to all these questions based on the idea that norms are closely tied to cultural practices, that is, socially learned ways of acting that mediate our access to social goods such as reputation, esteem, and status. Rule-following is a rational way of partaking in certain practices, which we do expecting to receive approval from others. Moreover, these expectations endure among us because we teach them to newcomers to our groups, thereby establishing them as shared norms.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Philosophy

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