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Following the Rules
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Following the Rules: Practical Reasoning and Deontic Constraint

Joseph Heath


This book attempts to show how rule-following can be understood as an essential element of rational action. The first step involves showing how rational choice theory can be modified to incorporate deontic constraint as a feature of rational deliberation. The second involves disarming the suspicion that there is something mysterious or irrational about the psychological states underlying rule-following. Human rationality is interpreted as a by-product of the so-called “language upgrade” that we receive as a consequence of the development of specific social practices. As a result, certain const ... More

Keywords: rational choice theory, decision theory, game theory, social norms, deontic constraint, rule following, action theory, moral pyschology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195370294
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195370294.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joseph Heath, author
University of Toronto
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