How to Govern Conduct
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
Date Written: January 9, 2021
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
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