Do Chimpanzees Conform to Social Norms?

Authored by: Laura Schlingloff , Richard Moore

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds

Print publication date:  July  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138822887
eBook ISBN: 9781315742250
Adobe ISBN:


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Brandom, following Kant and Wittgenstein, distinguishes between acting according to a rule and acting according to a conception of a rule. In the first case, there are regularities that describe one’s behavior, but one need not be aware of them. In the second case, one’s behavior may be described by a rule precisely because one aspires to adhere to it. In the latter case, an agent’s conception of the rule constrains her behavior, constituting a reason for her to act in one way and not another. This is the idea of a norm. A norm is a rule that agents feel, in some sense, obliged to follow.

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