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A STRAWSON–LEWIS DEFENCE OF SOCIAL PREFERENCES

  • Jelle de Boer (a1)
Abstract

This paper examines a special kind of social preference, namely a preference to do one's part in a mixed-motive setting because the other party expects one to do so. I understand this expectation-based preference as a basic reactive attitude (Strawson 1974). Given this, and the fact that expectations in these circumstances are likely to be based on other people's preferences, I argue that in cooperation a special kind of equilibrium ensues, which I call a loop, with people's preferences and expectations mutually cross-referring. As with a Lewis-norm, the loop can get started in a variety of ways. It is self-sustaining in the sense that people with social preferences have sufficient reason not to deviate.

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Economics & Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0266-2671
  • EISSN: 1474-0028
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