Cooperative Conventions, Rules of Recognition and Institutional Practices

Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 126)


According to Sánchez Brigido, after abandoning the idea that the rule of recognition is a coordinative convention in Lewis’s sense, Postema offered a new, more sophisticated version of conventionalism. According to this new version, the rule of recognition should be understood, not as a coordinative convention, but as a cooperative convention. The paper examines Postema’s cooperative convention account. It claims that it is unsuccessful for a crucial reason: certain features of officials’ practice show that there might be a practice constitutive of a rule of recognition but there need not be any cooperative problem to be solved. Uncertainty, interdependence and mutually conditional preferences (the conditions that define a cooperative problem) need not be present. The paper also suggests that a proper account of rules of recognition should recognize that the practice constituted by such a rule should be understood, not as a cooperative convention, but as a special type of institutional practice.



I am grateful to Hernán Bouvier and Juan Iosa for their comments on an earlier version of this work.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina

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