Bound by Convention: Obligation and Social Rules

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This work argues that being bound by a social convention can be valuable for its own sake. People need meaning in their lives and conventions infuse our acts and attitudes with significance, rendering them right or wrong, appropriate or inappropriate, required or forbidden. Such rules bind us not just in virtue of their usefulness but also because their absence would impoverish our social world. Appreciating this point is essential to an understanding of our cultures of neighbourliness and hospitality, family structures, systems of property rights, conventions around speech, the norms governing how we deport ourselves in public and even the rules of a game.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford Univerity Press; Oxford
Number of pages261
ISBN (Print)9780192896124
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


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