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David HumeMoral and Political Theorist$
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Russell Hardin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199232567

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232567.001.0001

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(p.81) 4 Convention
David Hume

Russell Hardin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores Hume's account of convention. His theory is that government derives its power to rule by convention, and the populace acquiesces in that rule by its own convention. He denies Hobbes's claims of the necessity of an all-powerful sovereign and of the absolute need of government if we are to have social order. Iterated coordination, the force of convention, conventions and functional explanation, allegiance to government, and unequal coordination are discussed.

Keywords:   social order, convention, iterated coordination, government allegiance, functional explanation, allegiance to government

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