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Are There Lewis Conventions?

Guala, Francesco (2008) Are There Lewis Conventions? [Preprint]

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David Lewis famously proposed to model conventions as solutions to coordination games, where equilibrium selection is driven by precedence, or the history of play. A characteristic feature of Lewis Conventions is that they are intrinsically nonnormative. Some philosophers have argued that for this reason they miss a crucial aspect of our folk notion of convention. It is doubtful however that Lewis was merely analysing a folk concept. I illustrate how his theory can (and must) be assessed using empirical data, and argue that it does indeed miss some important aspects of real-world conventions. I conclude that whether Lewis Conventions exist or not depends on how closely they approximate real-world behaviour, and whether we have any alternative theory that does a better job at explaining the phenomena.

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Item Type: Preprint
Guala, Francesco
Keywords: Norms, COnventions, Experiments, Coordination
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Economics
Depositing User: Francesco Guala
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2010
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:19
Item ID: 5398

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