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On Elster’s Conception of Social Norm

Author: XiangNingLe
Tutor: ZhangJianHua
School: Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Course: The philosophy of Marxism
Keywords: Social Norms Rationality Emotions Elster
CLC: B712.5
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 33
Quote: 0
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Elster provided us mew ideas and methods in the interpretation of human behavior,and he presented the basic characteristics of social norms by the contrast of rationalityand social norms. This passage includes four parts, which explain and illustrate the mainelements of social norms, and illustrate norm-guided behavior as well.In the first part of the thesis, I made a brief introduction about the objectives andsignificances of Elster’s social norm theory, which included the contemporary researchessituations of it.In the second part, I centrally concerned on the theoretical background of socialnorms. I explained the origin and theoretical position of social norms in the history ofphilosophy and in Elster’s own theoretical systems.In the third part, I discussed the main contents of social norm theory, which containsthe definitions and characteristics of social norm; Secondly, to make a betterunderstanding of Elster’s social norm, I made some distinctions between the theory ofitself and relevant phenomenons. Thirdly, by distinguishing the relationships betweensocial norm and rationality as well as emotions, I have tried to make an interpretation andillustration of human activities. Lastly, I systematically explained Jon Elster’s socialnorms theory by virtue of the account of the operation and sanction theory of socialnorms.Eventually, I made a further analysis of Elster’s theory of social norms, which hasgreat theoretical and realistic significance.

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