Economic and Sociological Accounts of Social Norms

  • 1 VWL VI, c/o Max Albert, Justus Liebig University,, Giessen, Germany

Abstract

Classifying accounts of institutionalized social norms that rely on individual rule-following as ‘sociological’ and accounts based on individual opportunity-seeking behavior as ‘economic’, the paper rejects purely economic accounts on theoretical grounds. Explaining the realworkings of institutionalized social norms and social order exclusively in terms of self-regarding opportunityseeking individual behavior is impossible. An integrated sociological approach to the so-called Hobbesian problem of social order that incorporates opportunityseeking along with rule-following behavior is necessary. Such an approach emerges on the horizon if economic methods are put to good sociological use on the basis of recent experimental economic findings on rule-following behavior.

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The Journal is devoted to the fundamental issues of empirical and normative social theory, and is directed at social scientists and social philosophers who combine commitment to political and moral enlightenment with argumentative rigour and conceptual clarity. Published articles develop social theorizing in connection with analytical philosophy and philosophy of science.

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