Pre-Conventions. A fragment of the Background
Revus - Journal for Constitutional Theory and Philosophy of Law (2016 Forthcoming)
18 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 17, 2016
In this paper I argue that there exist conventions of a peculiar sort which are neither norms nor regularities of behaviour, partaking of both. I proceed as follows. After a brief analysis of the meaning of ‘convention’, I give some examples of the kind of phenomena I have in mind: bodily skills, know-how, taste and style, habitus (P. Bourdieu), “disciplines” (M. Foucault). Then I group some arguments supporting my claim: (i) considerations about the identity conditions of precedents (D. Lewis) and about the projectibility of predicates in inductive inference generally (N. Goodman); (ii) thoughts about rule-following (L. Wittgenstein); (iii) an examination of some of J. R. Searle’s ideas about the “Background” of intentionality. I conclude with some remarks about the time-honoured antithesis ‘nature’ v. ‘convention’.
Keywords: convention, custom, rule-following, projectibility (induction), the Background of intentionality
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