_ Convention_ was immediately recognized as a major contribution to the subject and its significance has remained undiminished since its first publication in 1969. Lewis analyzes social conventions as regularities in the resolution of recurring coordination problems-situations characterized by interdependent decision processes in which common interests are at stake. Conventions are contrasted with other kinds of regularity, and conventions governing systems of communication are given special attention.
This article will compare and contrast two very different accounts of convention: the game-theoretical account of Lewis in Convention, and the account initially proposed by Margaret Gilbert (the present author) in chapter six of On Social Facts, and further elaborated here. Gilbert’s account is not a variant of Lewis’s. It was arrived at in part as the result of a detailed critique of Lewis’s account in relation to a central everyday concept of a social convention. An account (...) of convention need not be judged by that standard. Perhaps it reveals the nature of an important phenomenon. Looked at in that light, these very different accounts are not incompatible. Indeed, neither should be ignored if one is seeking to understand the way in which human beings arrive at some degree of social order. (shrink)
An influential argument against the possibility of truth by linguistic convention holds that while conventions can determine which proposition a given sentence expresses, they (conventions) are powerless to make propositions true or false. This argument has been offered in the literature by Lewy, Yablo, Boghossian, Sider and others. But despite its influence and prima facie plausibility, the argument: (i) equivocates between different senses of “making true”; (ii) mistakenly assumes hyperintensional contexts are intensional; and (iii) relies upon an implausible vision (...) of the way that language works. (shrink)
This paper investigates the epistemic assumptions that David Lewis makes in his account of social conventions. In particular, I focus on the assumption that the agents have common knowledge of the convention to which they are parties. While evolutionary analyses show that the common knowledge assumption is unnecessary in certain classes of games, Lewis’ original account (and, more recently, Cubitt and Sugden’s reconstruction) stresses the importance of including it in the definition of convention. I discuss arguments pro et (...) contra to argue that, although the assumption might be relevant to a descriptively adequate account of social convention, it is not required for its rational reconstruction. I then point out that Lewis’ account, properly speaking, is of common reason to believe, rather than of common knowledge, and argue that, in order to formalize aptly the distinction between reason to believe and belief, standard formal epistemic models need to be supplemented with so-called awareness structures. Finally, I stress that the notion of knowledge implicit in Lewis’ text involves interesting elements that cannot be captured in the standard propositional formalizations, but need the full expressive force of quantified epistemic logic. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to clarify what kind of normativity characterizes a convention. First, we argue that conventions have normative consequences because they always involve a form of trust and reliance. We contend that it is by reference to a moral principle impinging on these aspects (i.e. the principle of Reliability) that interpersonal obligations and rights originate from conventional regularities. Second, we argue that the system of mutual expectations presupposed by conventions is a source of agreements. Agreements (...) stemming from conventions are “tacit” in the sense that they are implicated by what agents do (or forbear from doing) and without that any communication between them is necessary. To justify this conclusion, we assume that: (1) there is a salient interpretation, in some contexts, of everyone’s silence as confirmatory of the others’ expectations (an epistemic assumption), and (2) the participating agents share a value of not being motivated by hostile attitudes (a motivational assumption). By clarifying the relation between conventions and agreements, the peculiar normativity of conventions is analyzed. (shrink)
Existing metasemantic projects presuppose that word- (or sentence-) types are part of the non-semantic base. We propose a new strategy: an endogenous account of word types, that is, one where word types are fixed as part of the metasemantics. On this view, it is the conventions of truthfulness and trust that ground not only the meaning of the words (meaning by convention) but also what the word type is of each particular token utterance (words by convention). The same (...) treatment extends to identifying the populations through which the conventions prevail. We consider whether this proposal leads to new underdetermination challenges for metasemantics, and make a case that it does not. (shrink)
Corruption is a serious economic, social, political, and moral blight, especially in many emerging countries. It is a problem that affects companies in particular, especially in international commerce, finance, and technology transfer. And it is becoming an international phenomenon in scope, substance, and consequences. That is why, in recent years, there has been a proliferation of international efforts to tackle the problem of corruption. One such international cooperative initiative is the United Nations Convention against Corruption, signed in 2003, which (...) came into force in December 2005. This is the first truly global instrument to prevent and combat corruption, built on a broad international consensus. The purpose of this article is to explain the origin and content of the Convention, what it adds to existing international instruments for combating corruption, and its strengths and weaknesses, mainly from the point of view of companies. (shrink)
I argue that all rights exist by convention. According to my definition, a right exists by convention just in case its justification appeals to the rules of a socially shared pattern of acting. I show that our usual justifications for rights are circular, that a right fulfills my criterion if all possible justifications for it are circular, and that all existing philosophical justifications for rights are circular or fail. We find three non-circular alternatives in the literature, viz. justifications (...) of rights by consequences, by autonomy or by divine commands. I show that all three alternatives fail, and I conclude that all rights exist by convention. This ontological result has a surprising and beneficial consequence. A common argument against conventionalism is that it implies cultural relativism. I finish by showing that the suggested conventionalism is incompatible with cultural relativism. (shrink)
I will argue that social ontology is constituted as hierarchical and interlocking conventions of multifarious kinds. Convention, in turn, is modeled in a manner derived from that of David K. Lewis. Convention is usually held to be inadequate for models of social ontologies, with one primary reason being that there seems to be no place for normativity. I argue that two related changes are required in the basic modeling framework in order to address this (and other) issue(s): (1) (...) a shift to an intentional model—among other reasons, in order to account for normativity—and (2) moving away from the belief-desire, propositional attitude, framework for understanding the intentional realm toward an interactive, pragmatic model of intentionality. These shifts provide natural approaches to: (1) understanding the normativities of social realities; (2) the sense in which social ontology is often constituted in implicit relations among the participants rather than elaborated and iterated explicit beliefs and desires; (3) and language. (shrink)
Children are not simply molded by the environment; through constant inference and interpretation, they actively shape their own social world. This book is about that process. Elliot Turiel's work focuses on the development of moral judgment in children and adolescents and, more generally, on their evolving understanding of the conventions of social systems. His research suggests that social judgements are ordered, systematic, subtly discriminative, and related to behavior. His theory of the ways in which children generate social knowledge through their (...) social experiences will be of interest to a wide range of researchers and students in child development and education. (shrink)
In this paper I shall first illustrate the variety of uses the concept of "nature" can and does have. Then I shall indicate that the confusing variety is not without rhyme or reason. I shall end by saying a few words about the notion of "progress". This may sound surprising but the notion of "progress" does tie up with what I shall try to say about the contrast between nature and convention.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is increasingly seen as driving a paradigm shift in mental health law, particularly in relation to the understanding that it requires a shift from substituted to supported decisions. This article identifies two competing moral commitments implied by this shift, both of which appeal to the notion of autonomy. It is argued that because of these commitments the Convention is in tension with more general calls in the medical ethics literature (...) for preserving patient autonomy through support. The competing commitments within the Convention also present a particular challenge in putting the support it requires into practice. A discursive control account of freedom is used to develop some practical guidelines for navigating this new moral territory. (shrink)
Truth by convention, once thought to be the foundation of a uniquely promising approach to explaining our access to the truth in nonempirical domains, is nowadays widely considered an absurdity. Its fall from grace has been due largely to the influence of an argument that can be sketched as follows: our linguistic conventions have the power to make it the case that a sentence expresses a particular proposition, but they can’t by themselves generate truth; whether a given proposition is (...) true—and so whether the sentence that expresses it is true—is a matter of what the world is like, which means it isn’t a matter of convention alone. The consensus is that this argument is decisive against truth by convention. Strikingly, though, it has rarely been formulated with much precision. Here I provide a new rendering of the argument, one that reveals its structure and makes transparent just what assumptions it requires, and then I assess conventionalists’ prospects for resisting each of those assumptions. I conclude that the consensus is mistaken: contrary to what is almost universally thought, there remains a promising way forward for the conventionalist project. Along the way, I clarify conventionalists’ commitments by thinking about what truth by convention would need to be like in order for conventionalism to do the epistemological work it’s intended to do. (shrink)
By defining both depictive and linguistic representation as kinds of symbol system, Nelson Goodman attempts to undermine the platitude that, whereas linguistic representation is mediated by convention, depiction is mediated by resemblance. I argue that Goodman is right to draw a strong analogy between the two kinds of representation, but wrong to draw the counterintuitive conclusion that depiction is not mediated by resemblance.
My aim in this paper is to discuss a metaphysical framework within which to understand “standard linguistic entities” (SLEs), such as words, sentences, phonemes, and other entities routinely employed in linguistic theory. In doing so, I aim to defuse certain kinds of skepticism, challenge convention-based accounts of SLEs, and present a series of distinctions for better understanding what the various accounts of SLEs do and do not accomplish.
Although corruption is ubiquitous, attitudes toward it differ among countries. Until the 1997 OECD Convention, the U.S. had been one of the only two countries with an explicit extraterritorial anti-bribery law, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977. The FCPA employs a two-pronged approach to control the supply side of corruption: (1) anti-bribery provisions; and (2) accounting (books and record and internal controls) provisions. I offer evidence, albeit indirect, to show that the FCPA had limited success. The OECD (...)Convention adopts the same two-pronged approach, but, since it is a multilateral treaty, is likely to be more successful provided that enforcement is vigorous enough. The signatory nations effectively form a cartel to reduce the cost of doing business. As with any cartel, however, each multinational corporation has an incentive to deviate. Thus, the mutual enforcement of the agreement is crucial for its success. However, the two-pronged approach is not sufficient, since internal control does not adequately monitor decisions made at the top level. I argue that the two lessons drawn from the U.S. experience are: (1) law enforcement must be credible; and (2) internal controls alone are not sufficient. Stronger and more effective corporate governance within an appropriate regulatory framework is needed to ensure that multinational corporations conduct their business in an ethical manner. (shrink)
This papers discuss the place, if any, of Convention T (the condition of material adequacy of the proper definition of truth formulated by Tarski) in the truth-makers account offered by Kevin Mulligan, Peter Simons and Barry Smith. It is argued that although Tarski’s requirement seems entirely acceptable in the frameworks of truth-makers theories for the first-sight, several doubts arise under a closer inspection. In particular, T-biconditionals have no clear meaning as sentences about truth-makers. Thus, truth-makers theory cannot be considered (...) as the semantic theory of truth enriched by metaphysical (ontological) data. The problem of truth-makers for sentences about future events is discussed at the end of the paper. (shrink)
The argument from convention contends that the regular use of definite descriptions as referential devices strongly implies that a referential semantic convention underlies such usage. On the presumption that definite descriptions also participate in a quantificational semantic convention, the argument from convention has served as an argument for the thesis that the English definite article is ambiguous. Here, I revisit this relatively new argument. First, I address two recurring criticisms of the argument from convention: its (...) alleged tendency to overgenerate and its apparent evidential inadequacy. These criticisms are found wanting. Second, following Zacharska, I argue that while the argument from convention does alter the landscape of logical possibilities insofar as it provides good grounds for treating Donnellan’s referential–attributive distinction as having truth-conditional consequences, the argument from convention nonetheless fails to demonstrate that ‘the’ requires two lexical entries. (shrink)
What is special about picturing according to the rules of perspectival drawing systems? My answer is at once both radical and conciliatory. I think that depiction essentially involves a distinctive experience, an experience of resemblance. More precisely, the picture must be seen as preserving what Thomas Reid (Enquiry 1764) called the "visible figure" of what is represented. It follows from this, and from some other plausible premises, that if a picture is to depict detailed spatial arrangements, rather than simply to (...) represent them in some other, non-pictorial, way, it must conform to perspectival rules. Hence the radicalism. Perspective does not provide uniquely accurate or realistic ways to depict things, but, for certain aspects of the world, the only way to depict them at all. What of the conciliatory aspect of my view? My account of depiction in no way implies that only perspectival pictures can depict anything at all. Indeed, it is quite consistent with a good deal of variation in the marks which might, in the right context, depict a given content. But better still, the factors determining what we see a picture as resembling, and hence partially determining what it depicts, are just those factors emphasized by those who take perspective to be a matter of convention. They include, for instance, the nature of the subject's perceptual environment, and the sorts of pictures to which he has previously been exposed. Thus, even given the radical claim, the variety in ways of depicting a given thing is neither incomprehensible nor indicative of some kind of failure. We can understand perspective's special status without denigrating the alternatives. (shrink)
The article deals with the question whether a state might be held liable for the infringement of the European Convention on Human Rights if its national court of last instance fails to implement the obligation to make a reference for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union under the conditions laid down in Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and developed in the case-law of the Court. Relying on (...) well-established practice that an arbitrary decision not to refer a question for a preliminary ruling theoretically could infringe the right to a fair trial, the author analyses the practical application of the “arbitrariness rule” and discusses whether the European Court of Human Rights has established any specific criteria that national courts are required to bring into play in order to substantiate the decision not to refer. (shrink)
This paper develops Lewis’ notion of convention within a framework that mixes cognitive science with some more social theories of activity like distributed cognition and activity theory. The close examination of everyday situations of convention-based activity will produce some interesting issues for a cognitive theory of behavior. Uncertainty, dynamics, and the complexities of the performance of convention-based activities that are distributed over time and/or place, are driving factors in the analysis that is presented. How the actors reason (...) and manage their collaboration is characterized as pragmatic action. During the course of recurrent activities, the participants adapt previously learned convention-based activities to new circumstances. The coordinating representations that are a part of the design of the context mediate parts of the activity. As they act, the participants learn. (shrink)
It is argued that Convention T and Basic Law V of Frege’s Grungesetze share three striking similarities. First, they are universal generalizations that are intuitively plausible because they have so many obvious instances. Second, both are false because they yield contradictions. Third, neither gives rise to a paradox.
This paper focuses on what is known in the literature on the semantics and pragmatics of definite descriptions as “the argument from convention”. This argument purports to show that referential uses of definite descriptions are a semantic phenomenon. A key premise of the argument is that none of the pragmatic alternatives (any one of a variety of Gricean accounts of referential uses) is successful. I argue that no good reason is offered to support this claim. I conclude that the (...) argument from convention fails to be compelling. (shrink)
One of the fields of protecting human rights within the framework of standards of the Council of Europe is the protection of national minorities – with the special issue of their linguistic rights. An intensification of actions aimed at adopting legal measures in this field happened in the 1960s. The concern for a proper range and level of regulation was expressed at the level of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers. National experts formulated detailed resolutions to include the (...) goals of international organizations such as CSCE and the United Nations concerning this matter. The fact that the framework convention was chosen as the means bears witness to a significant provision that the guarantee of rights were realized in the most flexible manner, including the designations and capacities of State parties. This article includes an analysis of three stages of work connected with ensuring linguistic rights for national minorities, with a special emphasis on the linguistic rights in the education system. On the one hand, actions which resulted in the acceptance of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are shown. On the other hand, the goals and details of this Convention are described. The third section concerns the analysis of mechanisms for monitoring the realization of the rights included in the Convention. Due to limitations in the terms of reference for this work, the analysis of the convention guarantees, and their realization, was limited to linguistic rights in the education system. The practice of these actions was shown through examples in Poland and Lithuania. The right to education for national minorities including knowledge about their culture, traditions, and their input into the development of the society of a given country is one of the rights clearly stated in the Framework Convention. By the same token are linguistic rights in an education system – the right to teach the language of a national minority or to teach in the language of a minority. As practice in Poland and Lithuania shows, the situation of education of national minorities is different, although some of the problems are common: an example for that would be access to proper coursebooks in the languages of national minorities, or properly trained teachers. (shrink)
Yitzhak Benbaji defends the view that soldiers on both the ‘just’ and the ‘unjust’ side in a war have the same liberty right to kill one another, because soldiers have ‘tacitly accepted’ the egalitarian laws of war and thereby waived their moral rights not to be attacked. I argue that soldiers on the ‘just’ side have not accepted the egalitarian laws of war; even if they had, they would not thereby have waived their moral rights not to be attacked. Moreover, (...) the egalitarian laws of war and ‘the war convention’ are not fair and mutually beneficial, and so would not be accepted. Benbaji does not come to grips with the problem of the killing of civilians in war: his idea that states could waive the moral rights of their citizens is untenable. (shrink)
The aim of this study is to clarify the meaning of the term saṁketa, which is usually translated as ‘ convention’, in the Yogasūtrabhāṣya, the first and the most authoritative commentary to the Yogasūtras. This paper is a contribution to the reconstruction of the classical Yoga view on the relation between word and its meaning, for saṁketa is a key term used by this darśana in discussing this relation. The textual analysis of the Yogasūtrabhāṣya has led me to the (...) conclusion that its author’s understanding of the linguistic convention is different from the notion of the linguistic convention of the Vaiśeṣikas and Naiyāyikas and similar to the notion of the linguistic convention of the Grammarians. These are interpretations of the term saṁketa which reflect Yogasūtrabhāṣya’s understanding of the linguistic convention: the tradition of the usage of words, established usage of words. Saṁketa of the Yogasūtrabhāṣya, unlike saṁketa/samaya of the Vaiśeṣikas and Naiyāyikas, is not an agreement established by anyone, but an agreement in the sense of tradition, established practice, or established custom. Unlike the saṁketa/samaya of these philosophers, the saṁketa of the Yogasūtrabhāṣya, having neither beginning nor end, is not re-created, but only made known at the beginning of each cycle of existence of the world. (shrink)
The system of the European Convention on Human Rights created in 1950 is still regarded as the most important and effective regional system for the protection of human rights in the whole world. However, the experience of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has clearly showed that the steady growth in the number of cases brought before the ECHR makes it increasingly difficult to keep the length of proceedings within the acceptable limits and to maintain the effectiveness of (...) the ECHR. This aspect is becoming extremely important due to the fact that the European Union (EU) will join the Convention system in the near future. The legal basis for the EU accession to the Convention system has been made possible after the entering into force of the EU Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, and, from the Convention’s perspective, the new Protocol No. 14 to the Convention, which entered into force on 1 June 2010, and which, in Article 17 (amending Article 59 of the Convention), stipulates that the EU may accede to this Convention. (shrink)
Within the Irish government there is a discussion regarding the possibility of limiting the legal protection afforded to the confessional secret. This paper addresses the question of whether this suggestion, if it were to be implemented by the legislature, would be compatible with the right to religious freedom under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This text will also highlight the role of the confessional secret in canon law and the protection of it under German (...) law. Catholic priests, should this plan that is currently under discussion be implemented, were obliged to disclose the knowledge gained in confession to law enforcement authorities. The canonical consequence of such a breach of the confessional secret would be excommunication. In such cases priests therefore would only have the choice between breaking the law (which would probably also be punishable under criminal law) and excommunication, with all the resulting disadvantages. In this paper, the canonical law rules regarding confession are presented before the provisions relating to the confessional secret in § 53 para. 1 No. 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, § 383 para. 1 No. 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure and § 139 para. 2 of the Criminal Code are discussed. Specifically, the question is raised as to whether a duty of priests to co-operate with the law enforcement authorities may be established by law. Here in particular the protection of the confessional secret under the protection of freedom of religion under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights will be discussed. It has to be noted however that the protection afforded by Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights extends far less than the scope of § 53 para. 1 No. 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, § 129 para. 2 of the Criminal Code and § 383 para. 1 No. 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure, as Art. 9 ECHR only protects the confessional secret as far as it is required from a religious point of view, but not a general pastoral secret. The article then includes a discussion on the limitations of Article 9 ECHR. Limitations of Article 9(1) ECHR on religious freedom under Article 9(2) ECHR are only permitted if they are prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society for the protection of public order, health, morals or the rights of others. This is discussed against the background of the legislative goal of more effective law enforcement. As a result, a limitation of the protection of confessional secret through normal (sub-constitutional, domestic) laws, despite the understandable goal of more effective law enforcement, is not compatible with Article 9 of the ECHR. (shrink)
Neo-pragmatists propose that content is determined by social convention. A convention is a coordination problem in which each agent prefers any solution to none, yet has no preference amongst the alternative solutions. This paper argues that the best known theory of convention, David Lewis’, cannot yield a theory of content because it appeals to beliefs and other states that themselves have content. The question then arises whether a theory of convention that does not appeal to states (...) with content can be developed. The idea that a radical enactivist approach to convention based on basic emotions is then tentatively proposed. (shrink)
The article discusses the certain features of the constitutional doctrine of human rights developed by the Constitutional Court of Lithuania which were influenced by the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, the role of the European Convention on Human Rights as a legal source in the system of sources of constitutional law. The intersection of the jurisprudences, which came into being due to different assessments of the legal regulation in cases where the same legal act was recognized (...) by the Constitutional Court being in compliance with the Constitution and the European Court of Human Rights recognized that the application of the said act was a cause of the violation of a certain person’s rights protected by the Convention (or vice versa) is one of the most important questions and raises many theoretical and practical problems. Different assessment of the legal acts made by the European Court of Human Rights with regard to their compliance with the Conventionshould not be regarded as such an essential circumstance which could lead to possible repeated review of such legal act at the Constitutional Court, such intersection of the jurisprudences, should be solved by ordinary courts while following the doctrine that in cases where legal acts contain the legal regulation which competes with that established in the international treaty, the international treaty should be applied. (shrink)
La théorie nietzschéenne du génie, dans la mesure où elle réhabilite positivement la contrainte et la convention dans la création artistique, permet de dépasser la mystérieuse théorie romantique d'inspiration naturaliste. Sur quoi repose cette théorie esthétique nietzschéenne ? Sur l'assimilation de la langue de l'artiste à une convention efficiente, c'est-à-dire lui permettant de communiquer activement avec un public, et donc d'être compris. La véritable convention est celle qui naît du besoin, et qui, – intégrée dans un travail (...) de soi sur soi commandé par la contrainte, le sérieux et la discipline, – se transforme en une nouvelle habitude, et devient une seconde nature, sous l'effet de la répétition acharnée. Elle s'oppose au laisser-aller, et rend possible la constitution d'une véritable culture dépassant l'opposition de la convention et de la nature. Elle définit selon l'auteur le style de l'esprit libre, soit l'artiste capable « de danser dans les chaînes », c'est-à-dire de jouer avec la convention. La véritable liberté artistique ne consiste donc pas à s'affranchir de la tradition, mais à la maîtriser et à jouer avec elle. La théorie de la création artistique élaborée par Nietzsche fournit ainsi le paradigme d'une libération de l'esprit. (shrink)
Forced expropriations of immovable property were common during the Communist era in Eastern Europe. Today, many of the former owners or their heirs are interested in regaining legal ownership of such properties, often decades after the ownership has been reallocated to others. Therefore, the conflict between old and new owners is often resolved in favour of the new owners. While this is understandable from a contemporary political perspective, this approach results in a perpetuation of the results of an earlier human (...) rights violation, thereby resulting in a new human rights violation which will have to be measured against the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if the state in question has ratified it prior to deciding how to handle the long-term effects of expropriations. Firstly, in the article we will devote ourselves to the interpretation of the right to property with an emphasis on the problem of expropriation. Above all, we will elaborate on the definition of the term “property” as well as positive and negative obligations of the Member States regarding this right. Finally, we will address the question of expropriations prior to the entry into force of the Convention and just compensation under Article 41 ECHR. Interpretation of the right to property will be supported by the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. (shrink)
Various special investigative methods are more often applied nowadays; their use is unavoidably induced by today’s reality in combating organised crime in the spheres such as corruption, prostitution, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, money counterfeit and etc. Therefore, special secret investigative methods are more often used and they are very effective in gathering evidence for the purpose of detecting and investigating very well-organised or latent crimes. Both the Convention on the Protection on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms itself, i.e. (...) its Article 6, and other international instruments, such as the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention, the Council of Europe’s Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and others, do not prohibit the use of special investigative methods, provided that their use does not violate human rights. The use of special investigative methods, such as undercover agents or other undercover investigative methods, cannot in itself infringe human rights and the right to a fair trial; however, its use must have clear limits and safeguards. The recent judgements of the European Court of Human Rights regarding the use of undercover agents confirm that the use of undercover agents in certain types of cases is often unavoidable and also very problematic, because the Court imposes on the member states of the Convention increasingly wider obligations. Partly this is determined by the fact that the current jurisprudence of the Court is still in the state of formation, therefore many questions are left unanswered. (shrink)
The Convention on Cybercrime (the Convention) adopted in the framework of the Council of Europe is the main international legislative tool in the fight against cybercrime. It is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. Lithuania is among its signatory states, therefore, the provisions of the Convention have become binding on its legislator, obliging it to (...) take all necessary measures to harmonize national legal acts with the framework set out therein. The Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania (the CC) in force is the legal act establishing liability for criminal offences known as computer crimes and Internet crimes. Although the legislator of Lithuania had been combating cybercrimes since as early as 1994 by means of the amendments to the Soviet era Criminal Code of 1961, a significant effort was required to transpose the requirements of the Convention into the Lithuanian law, starting from the year 2007. The end result was not always as expected, leaving several serious gaps in the field of criminalization, which are thoroughly addressed in the article. In particular, this article deals with the topic of computer-related crimes and the legal approaches related to substantive criminal law of the Republic of Lithuania. The study is based on a comparative legal analysis of the Lithuanian CC and the Convention. (shrink)
A strong record of human rights protections is an important factor for a state to maintain a positive international reputation. In this article, we suggest that states will use compliance with human rights treaties as a mechanism by which to improve their reputations to help achieve their foreign policy goals. We hypothesize that international human rights compliance is a means to improve a state’s reputation in three specific situations: when the state is facing regional pressures as the result of a (...) desire to join a regional organization; when the state is facing regional pressures not to run afoul of a court within a regional organization; or when a state seeks foreign assistance from an entity with human rights requirements for the receipt of such assistance. We examine our theory by analyzing human rights reports regarding state compliance with specific treaty obligations outlined in the Convention Against Torture (CAT). While the evidence for our hypotheses is mixed, we do find some support for our assertion that state compliance is linked to reputational concerns. In particular, states comply with the CAT when they are part of a regional organization that has a human rights court, and when they are receiving conditional aid from the European Union. (shrink)
This paper begins by exploring a subspecies of assertion. Under some circumstances an utterance intuitively counts as an assertion, even though it is Cynical: that is, it is insincere, and made without the reasonable expectation of even appearing sincere to its audience. The paper explores the contextual and cognitive workings of Cynical assertion – directly, in part, but also by comparison with superficially similar but non-assertoric utterances, namely, those made under duress. Finally, the paper examines the broader relevance of Cynical (...) assertion, by considering two philosophical applications of the notion: first, in support of Michael Dummett’s conventionalist account of assertion; and second, in illuminating an aspect of Moore’s paradox. (shrink)
The right to ‘domestic remedies’, which ideally connects ‘subsidiarity’ and ‘embeddedness’ of the ECHR in the legal systems of member States, is deemed to play a crucial role for the Strasbourg machinery survival as well as for an effective protection of human rights, especially in the field of the ‘reasonable-time’ requirement. In this respect the Italian case seems an excellent test. Once a compensatory remedy was introduced in the Italian legal system by Law No. 80 of 2001 (the ‘Pinto Act’), (...) it soon appeared that such a remedy could be considered ‘effective’ in so far as it was implemented in accordance with the ECtHR’s jurisprudence. Therefore a legal tool for the interaction between ECtHR and Italian courts had to be found. Nevertheless, the results of this interaction might suggest that the domestic remedy has neither increased the protection of the reasonable-time requirement in Italy nor is it the final solution to the ECtHR’s overload. (shrink)
Since I do not disagree with the line of argument taken by Kramer and the distinctions he draws between the different ways rules can be ‘mind-independent’, my comments focus on some of the complexities involved in the application of his distinctions. I suggest that law, properly understood as a system of rules/conventions is both existentially and observationally weakly mind independent, but nonetheless objective.
David Lewis is widely credited with the first formulation of common knowledge and the first rigorous analysis of convention. However, common knowledge and convention entered mainstream game theory only when they were formulated, later and independently, by other theorists. As a result, some of the most distinctive and valuable features of Lewis' game theory have been overlooked. We re-examine this theory by reconstructing key parts in a more formal way, extending it, and showing how it differs from more (...) recent game theory. In contrast to current theories of common knowledge, Lewis' theory is based on an explicit analysis of the modes of reasoning that are accessible to rational individuals and so can be used to analyse the genesis of common knowledge. Lewis' analysis of convention emphasises the role of inductive reasoning and of salience in the maintenance of conventions over time. Footnotes Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 13th Amsterdam Colloquium at the University of Amsterdam, at a workshop on social norms at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and at seminars at Tilburg University and the University of Bristol. We are grateful for comments from participants at those meetings, from two anonymous referees, and from Michael Bacharach, Nick Bardsley, Cristina Bicchieri, Luc Bovens, Simon Grant, David McCarthy, Shepley Orr, Brian Skyrms, Peter Vanderschraaf, Peter Wakker and Jörgen Weibull. Robert Sugden's work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust. (shrink)
It is widely held that the current refugee Convention is inadequate with respect to its specification of who counts as a refugee and in its assignment of responsibility concerning refugees to states. At the same time, there is substantial agreement among scholars that the negotiation of a new Convention would lead states to extricate themselves from previously assumed responsibilities rather than sign on to a set of more desirable legal norms. In this paper, I argue that states should (...) ultimately negotiate a new Convention, but that first they must alleviate the institutional and motivational constraints that make progress currently unattainable. (shrink)
According to the standard story W. V. Quine ’s criticisms of the idea that logic is true by convention are directed against, and completely undermine, Rudolf Carnap’s idea that the logical truths of a language L are the sentences of L that are true-in- L solely in virtue of the linguistic conventions for L, and Quine himself had no interest in or use for any notion of truth by convention. This paper argues that and are both false. Carnap (...) did not endorse any truth -by- convention theses that are undermined by Quine ’s technical observations. Quine knew this. Quine ’s criticisms of the thesis that logic is true by convention are not directed against a truth -by- convention thesis that Carnap actually held, but are part of Quine ’s own project of articulating the consequences of his scientific naturalism. Quine found that logic is not true by convention in any naturalistically acceptable sense. But he also observed that in set theory and other highly abstract parts of science we sometimes deliberately adopt postulates with no justification other than that they are elegant and convenient. For Quine such postulations constitute a naturalistically acceptable and fallible sort of truth by convention. It is only when an act of adopting a postulate is not indispensible to natural science that Quine sees it as affording truth by convention ‘unalloyed’. A naturalist who accepts Quine ’s notion of truth by convention is therefore not limited to accepting only those postulates that she regards as indispensible to natural science. (shrink)
In “Truth by Convention” W.V. Quine gave an influential argument against logical conventionalism. Even today his argument is often taken to decisively refute logical conventionalism. Here I break Quine’s arguments into two— the super-task argument and the regress argument—and argue that while these arguments together refute implausible explicit versions of conventionalism, they cannot be successfully mounted against a more plausible implicit version of conventionalism. Unlike some of his modern followers, Quine himself recognized this, but argued that implicit conventionalism was (...) explanatorily idle. Against this I show that pace Quine’s claim that implicit conventionalism has no content beyond the claim that logic is firmly accepted, implicit rules of inference can be used to distinguish the firmly accepted from the conventional. As part of my case, I argue that positing syntactic rules of inference as part of our linguistic competence follows from the same methodology that leads contemporary linguists and cognitive scientists to posit rules of phonology, morphology, and grammar. The upshot of my discussion is a diagnosis of the fallacy in Quine’s master critique of logical conventionalism and a re-opening of possibilities for an attractive conventionalist theory of logic. (shrink)
It is widely accepted among medical ethicists that competence is a necessary condition for informed consent. In this view, if a patient is incompetent to make a particular treatment decision, the decision must be based on an advance directive or made by a substitute decision-maker on behalf of the patient. We call this the competence model. According to a recent report of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights (...) of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) presents a wholesale rejection of the competence model. The High Commissioner here adopts the interpretation of article 12 proposed by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. On this interpretation, CRPD article 12 renders it impermissible to deny persons with mental disabilities the right to make treatment decisions on the basis of impaired decision-making capacity and demands the replacement of all regimes of substitute decision-making by supported decision-making. In this paper, we explicate six adverse consequences of CRPD article 12 for persons with mental disabilities and propose an alternative way forward. The proposed model combines the strengths of the competence model and supported decision-making. (shrink)
Recently, I have been arguing for a global constitutional convention focused on protecting future generations. This deliberative body would be akin to the American constitutional convention of 1787, which gave rise to the present structure of government in the United States. It would confront the “governance gap” that currently exists surrounding concern for future generations. In particular, contemporary institutions tend to crowd out intergenerational concern, and thereby facilitate a “tyranny of the contemporary.” They not only fail to address (...) a basic standing threat to humanity and other species, but help that threat become manifest. Climate change is a prime example. In this paper, I sketch out a natural argumentative path toward the global constitutional convention and argue that is difficult to resist. I also insist that we should be evenhanded in the way we treat the proposal. Those who put their faith in alternatives must also confront standard complaints about naivety, urgency, threats to democratic values, and the like. Moreover, the global constitutional convention has the advantage of addressing the problem we face head on. (shrink)
It is argued that david lewis' account of convention in "convention" required too much self-Consciousness of parties participating in a convention. In particular, It need not be known that there are equally good alternatives to the convention. This point affects other features of the definition, And suggests that the account is too much guided by the "rational assembly" picture of human conventions. (edited).
Recently, several philosophers have recast feminist arguments against pornography in terms of Speech Act Theory. In particular, they have considered the ways in which the illocutionary force of pornographic speech serves to set the conventions of sexual discourse while simultaneously silencing the speech of women, especially during unwanted sexual encounters. Yet, this raises serious questions as to how pornographers could (i) be authorities in the language game of sex, and (ii) set the conventions for sexual discourse - questions which these (...) speech act-theoretic arguments against pornography have thus far failed to adequately answer. I fill in this gap of the argumentation by demonstrating that there are fairly weak standards for who counts as an authority or convention-setter in sexual discourse. With this analysis of the underpinnings of a speech act analysis of pornography in mind, I discuss a range of possible objections. I conclude that (i) the endorsement of censorship by a speech act analysis of pornography competes with its commitment to the conventionality of speech acts, and, more damningly, that (ii), recasting anti-pornography arguments in terms of linguistic conventions risks an unwitting defence of a rapist's lack of mens rea - an intolerable result; and yet resisting this conclusion requires that one back away from the original claim to women's voices being 'silenced'. (shrink)
Consider the claim that openmindedness is an epistemic virtue, the claim that true belief is epistemically valuable, and the claim that one epistemically ought to cleave to one’s evidence. These are examples of what I’ll call “ epistemic discourse.” In this paper I’ll propose and defend a view called “convention-relativism about epistemic discourse.” In particular, I’ll argue that convention-relativismis superior to its main rival, expressivism about epistemic discourse. Expressivism and conventionalism both jibe with anti-realism about epistemic normativity, which (...) is motivated by appeal to philosophical naturalism. Convention-relativism says that epistemic discourse describes how things stands relative to a conventional set of “ epistemic ” values; such discourse is akin to normative discourse relative to the conventional rules of a club. I defend conventionalism by appeal to a “reverse open question argument,” which says, pace expressivism, that epistemic discourse leaves the relevant normative questions open. (shrink)
The Carnegie Council's work “is rooted in the premise that the incorporation of ethical concerns into discussions of international affairs will yield more effective policies both in the United States and abroad.” In honor of the Council's centenary, we have been asked to present our views on the ethical and policy issues posed by climate change, focusing on what people need to know that they probably do not already know, and what should be done. In that spirit, this essay argues (...) that climate change poses a profound ethical challenge, that the ongoing evasion of this challenge produces ineffective policy, and, therefore, that a fundamental paradigm shift is needed. More specifically, I maintain that the climate problem is usually misdiagnosed as a traditional tragedy of the commons, that this obscures two deeper and distinctively ethical challenges, and that we should address these challenges head on, by calling for a global constitutional convention focused on future generations. (shrink)