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Understanding institutions: replies to Aoki, Binmore, Hodgson, Searle, Smith, and Sugden


Our goal is to develop a theory that combines the best insights of philosophical and scientific theories of institutions. We are not committed a priori to save the commonsense notion of institution, or the thesis of human exceptionalism. We think that human cognition is important, but we do not claim that common knowledge or collective intentions are necessary for coordination. Like most of our commentators, we believe that there is continuity between simple rules of precedence and sophisticated institutions like property, marriage, or money. Finally, we argue that a satisfactory account of institutions must be compatible with different theories of normativity, specifying the social and psychological mechanisms that make it possible to override selfish desires.

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Journal of Institutional Economics
  • ISSN: 1744-1374
  • EISSN: 1744-1382
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-institutional-economics
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