Pragmatics and Cognition 18 (2):442-455 (2010)

Dana Riesenfeld
Tel Aviv University
Ever since David Lewis’s publication of Convention: A Philosophical Study his definition of a convention has been widely accepted and marginally challenged. Andrei Marmor’s book Social Conventions: From Language to Law is both a continuation and a critical response to Lewis’s work. “Convention”, alongside “rule” and “norm”, is one of the most important and fundamental philosophical concepts. We tend to think of our behavior as human beings, of our linguistic and social actions, as largely conditioned by conventions. Marmor examines the role and significance of conventions in language, in the moral sphere, and in the legal system. His definition of convention renders language less conventional than we had thought it is and morality more so. In this review article I present Marmor’s concept of convention and follow the book’s main arguments. I then point to what I think is amiss in his account of convention, namely, the idea that some norms are conventional, which yields a conflation of norms and conventions.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1075/pc.18.2.09rie
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Convention: A Philosophical Study.David K. Lewis - 1971 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 4 (2):137-138.
Convention: A Philosophical Study.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Synthese 26 (1):153-157.
Interpretation and Understanding.Marcelo Dascal - 2006 - Critica 38 (114):93-98.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
35 ( #324,969 of 2,505,154 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #119,040 of 2,505,154 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes