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August 2022

In Honor of Geoffrey Brennan: “Making Normative Sense of Social Norms” with Philip Pettit

August 29 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Abstract: Geoffrey Brennan and I defended a theory of social norms, built on people’s interest in esteem, that later worried him on the grounds that if self-interest is at the origin of norms, then norms can only engage us prudentially: interest in, interest out. I argue that our original account can be extended to allay this concern. A counterfactual genealogy, akin to Lewis’s genealogy of conventions, can explain why social norms can assume the status of social demands rather than…

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