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The Emergence of Norms

Edna Ullmann-Margalit provides an original account of the emergence of norms. Her main thesis is that certain types of norms are possible solutions to problems posed by certain types of social interaction situations. The problems are such that they inhere in the structure (in the game-theoretical sense of structure) of the situations concerned. Three types of paradigmatic situations are dealt with. They are referred to as Prisoners' Dilemma-type situations; co-ordination situations; and inequality (or partiality) situations. Each of them, it is claimed, poses a basic difficulty, to some or all of the individuals involved in them. Three types of norms, respectively, are offered as solutions to these situational problems. It is shown how, and in what sense, the adoption of these norms of social behaviour can indeed resolve the specified problems.
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Table of Contents

I. Aim and Method ; II. PD Norms ; III. Co-ordination Norms ; IV. Norms of Partiality ; Bibliography ; Index

About the Author

Professor Ullmann-Margalit was Professor of Education at the Hebrew Universiy of Jerusalem.


'a book with arguments and ideas deserving of close attention from moral philosophers, political philosophers, philosophers of social science, and the social scientists themselves ... a sophisticated and sustained argument.' * Lanning Sowden, The Philosophical Quarterly * '[Ullmann-Margalit's] lucidly presented thesis will be of interest to moral and political philosophers ... clear and detailed at every point.' * G. R. Grice, Philosophy * A brilliant, timeless, and pathbreaking book, one of the classics of the last hundred years of social theory. Ullmann-Margalit helps explain what makes social organization possible-and why inequality arises and persists. Indispensable reading, full of implications for economics, philosophy, law, psychology, and sociology-and public policy as well. * Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University *

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