The internal aspect of social rules

Adam Drew Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


For a rule to exist in a society, its members must hold a certain attitude. It has proven difficult to identify that attitude, however. Here, I draw on recent work in the philosophy of action to show that the attitude we are looking for is ‘acceptance’ that the rule ought to be complied with, where this acceptance is held independent of any belief about the matter. One implication of this idea is that the attitude that underlies a social rule is analogous to a ‘presumption’ or ‘fiction’ about what ought to be done, as these terms are used in the law of evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-300
Number of pages18
JournalOxford Journal of Legal Studies
Issue number2
Early online date19 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • social rules
  • acceptance
  • presumption
  • rule of recognition
  • HLA Hart


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