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Interactive intentionality and norm formation

Pietro Guarnieri

Journal of Institutional Economics, 2019, vol. 15, issue 4, 579-593

Abstract: The paper aims at complementing Searle's social ontology with an epistemology capable of illustrating institution formation. To this purpose, I discuss Searle's conception of constitutive rules and show that it requires the specifications of normative powers and purposes identifying status functions to be taken as given. However, such specifications arise from underlying normative commitments that may be various and possibly conflicting. Hence, in order to account for the formation of institutions, it is necessary to understand how status function declarations may emerge from alternative normative commitments. I make the hypothesis of “interactive intentionality,†as an interactive and deliberative mode of practical reasoning, to describe the processes of convergence on definite constitutive rules. These processes show how interactive intentionality may frame both commitment and enforcement, thus providing some insights to make rule-based and equilibrium-based accounts of institutions epistemologically commensurable.

Date: 2019
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