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Brennan, G: Explaining Norms


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Table of Contents

1: Introducing Norms Part I: Explaining the Nature of Norms 2: Norms 3: Formal and Non-Formal Norms 4: Moral and Social Norms Part II: Explaining the Emergence, Persistence and Change of Norms 5: Patterns of Emergence, Persistence, and Change 6: Rational Reconstruction 7: Social Meaning 8: Bad Norms Part III: Explaining With Norms 9: Norm Following 10: Norm Conforming 11: Norm Breaching 12: Attitudes and Modes of Deliberation 13: Conclusions References Index

About the Author

Geoffrey Brennan is an economist who works at the intersection of economics, political science, and moral and political philosophy. He is the author of five books including two with Nobel Laureate James Buchanan. He has served as editor of Economics and Philosophy and Economic Record; and as the President of the international Public Choice Society. His work covers a wide range of topics from 'expressive' voting theory (Democracy and Decision [CUP, 1993] with Loren Lomasky) to The Economy of Esteem (OUP, 2004) with Philip Pettit; and he now describes himself as a scholar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He is currently working on a book on Philosophy and Economics. He holds regular Professorial positions in Philosophy at the Australian National University and in the Political Science Department at Duke University and the Philosophy Department at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he directs the joint Duke/UNC PPE program. Lina Eriksson is a philosopher and political scientist, with a background in mathematics. After her PhD in political science at Gothenburg University, and a year at Harvard as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar, she spent five years at the Australian National University as a post doctoral researcher. She is now Lecturer in Philosophy at Flinders University. Her research covers positive political theory (a book on this, Rational Choice Theory; Potential and Limits, was published in 2011), democratic theory, decision theory, ethics, and welfare-state studies. Robert Goodin is a philosopher and political scientist. He is Distinguished Professor of Social & Political Theory and Philosophy in the School of Philosophy at Australian National University, as well as Professor of Government at the University of Essex. A Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Goodin is founding editor of The Journal of Political Philosophy and of the Cambridge University Press series of books on 'Theories of Institutional Design'. He served as general editor of the eleven-volume series of Oxford Handbooks of Political Science. His own work straddles democratic theory (e.g. Reflective Democracy [OUP, 2003]), empirical welfare-state studies (e.g., The Real Worlds of Welfare Capitalism [CUP, 1999]; Discretionary Time [CUP, 2008]), and theoretical reflections on public policy (e.g., Social Welfare as an Individual Responsibility [CUP, 1998]; What's Wrong with Terrorism? [Polity, 2006]). Nicholas Southwood is a research fellow in the School of Philosophy at Australian National University. He works primarily in moral and political philosophy with a particular focus on normativity and practical reason. He is the author of Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality (OUP, 2010) and many articles in journals including Mind, Ethics, Nous, and Philosophical Studies. He has been a co-editor of the Journal of Political Philosophy since July 2012.


`Given the wide range of literatures discussed, readers are likely to find much of interest.' David K. Henderson, Ethics `Explaining Norms is clearly written and easy to understand which makes it accessible to a wide range of audiences. The authors present compelling arguments for accepting or rejecting various theories about norms. The reader can easily follow which theory the authors are arguing for because the chapters and sections come with concise introductions that summarize the important points made in the previous chapter or section. I would recommend this book to readers who are interested in learning more about norms but who are unfamiliar with the literature, such as undergraduate students, because it gives a comprehensive account and provides a good introduction.' Ayesha Bhatti, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review `Explaining Norms is the work of a very smart band of philosophers. ... There are insightful discussions throughout, which include nice observations about bad norms, and how we might model internalizing and following norms. It is certainly a significant contribution to the emerging, and important, literature on norms.' Gerald Gaus, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews `rewarding and inventive -- it provides distinctive and intriguing views on several topics (e.g., on the distinction between moral and social norms). There are a lot of ideas here. Perhaps this is predictable, given that the work is a product of four capable minds. What is surprising is the range of ideas and arguments on which the authors manage to agree and out of which they construct one reasonably cohesive account.' David K. Henderson, Ethics `Already by picking up this book, the reader knows she is in for an unusual treat. ... the present book represents joint work of no fewer than four philosophers, each bringing to bear their personal expertise. ... [W]hile primarily 'a book in the philosophy of social science' (p. 57), it draws on, and contributes to, an uncharacteristically large variety of debates, deftly weaving together novel insights from normative theory, philosophy of social science, legal philosophy, rational choice and economic theory, even sociology. The outcome is an extremely rich and comprehensive study of norms, their nature, function, genealogy, and explanatory significance; it puts forward an account that is as careful in detail as it is impressive in scope.' Yair Levy, Mind `Yair Levy, Mindpacked with ideas and a treasure trove of empirical examples and anecdotes. It will surely propel the debate about norms in the social sciences and philosophy. One particular strength of the book is the tight interaction between theory and practice. Booksellers and librarians will have a hard time deciding whether this book goes into the 'Economics', 'Politics', 'Sociology' or 'Philosophy section. It probably belongs in all four. In fact, Explaining Norms should be read widely by scholars and students of those and other disciplines.' Kai Spiekermann, Economics and Philosophy

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