Conventions and Status Functions

Journal of Philosophy 119 (2):89-111 (2022)
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We argue that there is a variety of convention, effective coordinating agreement, that has not been adequately identified in the literature. Its distinctive feature is that it is a structure of conditional we-intentions of parties, unlike more familiar varieties of convention, which are structures of expectations and preferences or obligations. We argue that status functions constitutively involve this variety of convention, and that what is special about it explains, and gives precise content to the central feature of status functions, namely, that objects with status functions can perform their functions only insofar as they have been collectively accepted as having them.

Author Profiles

Marija Jankovic
Davidson College
Kirk Ludwig
Indiana University, Bloomington


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