On participation and membership in discursive practices

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (1):67-85 (2006)
For a view which grounds norms in the practices of a particular group, determining who is in that group will determine the scope of those norms. Such a view requires an account of what it is to be a member of the group subject to that practice. In this article, the author presents the beginnings of such an account, limiting his inquiry to discursive practices; we might characterize such practices as those which require, as a condition of participation, participants both to exchange reasons with one another and to recognize that practice as a common source of reasons. The author argues that membership in such groups is constituted by the conjunction of shared discursive practices, common recognition of the authority of that practice, and commitments between members. In the case of discursive practices, these features of membership are inseparable. Key Words: practice • commitment • membership • discursive stance.
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