How to Govern Conduct

Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper 21-02

New Essays on the Nature of Legal Reasoning (Mark McBride & James Penner, eds., Hart Publishing) Forthcoming

22 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2021 Last revised: 10 Feb 2021

See all articles by Emily L. Sherwin

Emily L. Sherwin

Cornell University - Law School

Larry Alexander

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: January 9, 2021

Abstract

In previous work we have distinguished between rule-governed decision-making and unconstrained practical, moral, and empirical decision-making. A rule is a general, determinate directive that dictates the outcome of all cases that fall within its terms. Rules achieve settlement and facilitate coordination, at the cost of some outcomes that may not serve the principles underlying the rule. Here we consider the nature and function of standards of decision. Standards describe the scope of their own application in determinate terms and outline objectives or values a later decision-maker should pursue. The effect is a guided delegation of decision-making power to future decision-makers. We provide a variety of examples.

Keywords: rule-governed decision-making, settlement, decision, decision-making power, unconstrained decision-making, moral decision-making, empirical decision-making

Suggested Citation

Sherwin, Emily L. and Alexander, Lawrence, How to Govern Conduct (January 9, 2021). Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper 21-02, New Essays on the Nature of Legal Reasoning (Mark McBride & James Penner, eds., Hart Publishing) Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3763025

Emily L. Sherwin (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Lawrence Alexander

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-2317 (Phone)
619-260-4728 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
18
Abstract Views
121
PlumX Metrics