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On Custom in the Economy$
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Ekkehart Schlicht

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198292241

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198292244.001.0001

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Custom and Style

Custom and Style

Chapter:
(p.129) Chapter 10 Custom and Style
Source:
On Custom in the Economy
Author(s):

Ekkehart Schlicht

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198292244.003.0011

Surveys the view developed so far. The human mind has a propensity to form rules. This makes learning possible. At the same time, humans are endowed with a preference for rule following, for making rules, and for a match between emotion, cognition, and action. Emotion can be interpreted as brought about by this desire.

The view maintained in this book is contrasted with the prevailing (‘strategic’) interpretation of custom as a system of conventions. Because rule formation is not an exclusively social phenomenon, it is erroneous to interpret rules exclusively in terms of interaction. Interaction builds on rules and their cognitive, emotional, and habitual entailments, but cannot explain rule formation itself. The emergence of entitlements and obligations may be understood from this perspective, giving rise to transactions. Further, the rules of custom form a system. Overall coherence is brought about as a matter of style.

Keywords:   action, cognition, coherence, conventions, emotions, habit, rule formation, style, transactions

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