General::Convention (norm)


Rules::social    Which::other    Social::society    Category::these    Example::these    David::toward

General A convention is a selection from among two or more alternatives, where the rule or alternative is agreed upon among participants. Often the word refers to unwritten customs shared throughout a community. For instance, it is conventional in many societies that strangers being introduced shake hands. Some conventions are explicitly legislated; for example, it is conventional in the United States and in Germany that motorists drive on the right side of the road, whereas in New Zealand, England, Australia, Mauritius, and Barbados motorists drive on the left. The standardization of time is a human convention based on the solar cycle or calendar. The extent to which justice is conventional (as opposed to natural or objective) is historically an important debate among philosophers.

The nature of conventions has raised long-lasting philosophical discussion. Quine, Davidson, and David Lewis published influential writings on the subject. Lewis's account of convention received an extended critique in Margaret Gilbert's On Social Facts (1989), where an alternative account is offered. Another view of convention comes from Ruth Millikan's Language: A Biological Model (2005), once more against Lewis.{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[example needed]

According to David Kalupahana, The Buddha described conventions — whether linguistic, social, political, moral, ethical, or even religious — as arising dependent on specific conditions. According to his paradigm, when conventions are considered absolute realities, they contribute to dogmatism, which in turn leads to conflict. This does not mean that conventions should be absolutely ignored as unreal and therefore useless. Instead, according to Buddhist thought, a wise person adopts a middle way without holding conventions to be ultimate or ignoring them when they are fruitful.<ref>David Kalupahana, Nagarjuna: The Philosophy of the Middle Way. SUNY Press, 1986, pages 17-18. The author refers specifically to the thought of the Buddha here.</ref>

Convention (norm) sections
Intro   General    Customary or social conventions    Government    International law   See also   References    External links   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: General