Conventions and Exemplars: an alternative conceptual framework
This paper proposes an alternative reading of what conventions are and how they might be used by social scientists in theoretical and empirical work. In the first section of the paper, I trace the modern conception of convention to two characterisations offered by David Hume. I claim that Hume’s two notions of convention provide the basic intuition behind the majority of modern approaches. The second section highlights an important and often implicit characteristic that most theories of convention share: the desire to explain the normativity of conventional practices has led commentators to characterise convention as a sub-category of social rules. I go on to argue that the Wittgensteinian literature on rule-following undermines this strategy and that rules cannot provide the normative guidance required of them by social theorists. The third section describes a promising alternative. I argue that the notion of exemplar, first proposed by Thomas Kuhn in the history and philosophy of science, can be used to clarify and advance the study of convention. The paper concludes with a illustration of how this alternative framework can be used by social scientists.
|Date of creation:||2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 200 Avenue de la République, Bât. G - 92001 Nanterre Cedex|
Web page: http://economix.fr
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2007-3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Valérie Mignon)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.