Ecological Validity in Pragmatic Research
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This paper discusses issues relating to the normativity of prescriptive rules: what does it mean for a rule to be able to direct action, and what are the implications for the desirability of rule-based decision-making? It is argued that: (a) cognitively, one must allow for more than a single answer to the first question (the two interpretations of rules discussed here are based alternately on the concepts of exclusion and presumption); and (b) normatively, these different structures typically serve for different purposes in allocation of power and discretion. The next issue is the connection between rule-based decision-making and semantic theories of language. On a meta-discursive level, the paper makes a twofold claim: that normative discourse is possible only on the basis of a sound cognitive inquiry, while cognitive inquiry alone is not sufficient to explain social action and interaction, lacking tools to deal with the contingent normative demands from decision-making systems, such as adjudication. The discussion of prescriptive rules serves as a case-study for this claim. These and related topics have been dealt with by Frederick Schauer(1991a, 1991b). His model of rules as entrenched generalizations and mediators between "justifications " and action is the starting point of the present discussion, which, on most of the issues mentioned above, results in conclusions quite different from Schauer's.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Discussion
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error