Social norms and unthinkable options

Synthese 193 (8):2519–2537 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


We sometimes violate social norms in order to express our views and to trigger public debates. Many extant accounts of social norms don’t give us any insight into this phenomenon. Drawing on Cristina Bicchieri’s work, I am putting forward an empirical hypothesis that helps us to understand such norm violations. The hypothesis says, roughly, that we often adhere to norms because we are systematically blind to norm-violating options. I argue that this hypothesis is independently plausible and has interesting consequences. It implies, e.g., that some experimental paradigms for investigating social norms have hitherto unnoticed shortcomings.

Similar books and articles

On the Concept of Basic Social Norms.Wolfgang Detel - 2008 - Analyse & Kritik 30 (2):469-482.
Norms in a Wired World.Steven A. Hetcher - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
Norms, preferences, and conditional behavior.Cristina Bicchieri - 2010 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 9 (3):297-313.
Social norms and game theory: harmony or discord?Cédric Paternotte & Jonathan Grose - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):551-587.
Deliberative Business Ethics.Ryan Burg - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 88 (S4):665 - 683.
Social norms as choreography.Herbert Gintis - 2010 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 9 (3):251-264.
Was ist normal?: eine Bibliographie der Dokumente und Forschungsliteratur seit 1945.Jürgen Link, Rolf Parr & Matthias Thiele - 1999 - Oberhausen: Athena Publishing. Edited by Rolf Parr & Matthias Thiele.
On the Nature of Norms.Peter Koller - 2014 - Ratio Juris 27 (2):155-175.
Emotions, norms, and the genealogy of fairness.Shaun Nichols - 2010 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 9 (3):275-296.


Added to PP

1,481 (#6,895)

6 months
162 (#17,280)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ulf Hlobil
Concordia University

Citations of this work

Disobedient Institutional Behavior.Vojtěch Zachník - 2022 - Journal of Social Ontology 8 (1):94-117.
Practical reason not as such.Kenneth Walden - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (2).

Add more citations