Convention: A Philosophical Study

Convention: A Philosophical Study

by David Lewis

NOOK Book(eBook)

$39.99 $48.75 Save 18% Current price is $39.99, Original price is $48.75. You Save 18%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details


Convention was immediately recognized as a major contribution to the subject and its significance has remained undiminished since its first publication in 1969. Lewis analyzes social conventions as regularities in the resolution of recurring coordination problems-situations characterized by interdependent decision processes in which common interests are at stake. Conventions are contrasted with other kinds of regularity, and conventions governing systems of communication are given special attention.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118695777
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 232
File size: 915 KB

About the Author

David Lewis (1941–2001) was Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His publications include Counterfactuals (reissued by Blackwell 2000), On the Plurality of Worlds (reissued by Blackwell, 2000), Parts of Classes (1991), and numerous articles in metaphysics and other areas. Many of his writings are available in his Collected Papers.

Table of Contents


Foreword by W.V. Quine.


I. Coordination and Convention.

Sample Coordination Problems.

Analysis of Coordination Problems.

Solving Coordination Problems.


Sample Conventions.

II. Convention Refined.

Common Knowledge.

Knowledge of Conventions.

Alternatives to Convention.

Degrees of Convention.

Consequences of Conventions.

III. Convention Contrasted.


Social Contracts.



Conformative Behavior.


Meaning of Signals.

IV. Convention and Communication.

Sample Signals.

Analysis of Signaling.

Verbal Signaling.

Conventional Meaning of Signals.

V. Conventions of Language.

Possible Languages.


Semantics in a Possible Language.

Conventions of Truthfulness.

Semantics in a Population.



What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This book is my attempt at an analysis of our common, established concept of convention, so that you will recognize that it explains what you must have in mind when you say that language is governed by conventions. Language is only one among many activities governed by conventions that we did not create by agreeing and that we cannot describe." David Lewis

"Readers will be indebted to the author of this book." Philosophical Quarterly

"The notion of convention has served philosophers since Aristotle as a convenient exploration of the arbitrary character of referential word meaning. In 1936 Willard Quine, pursuing the notion of analyticity, called attention to the emptiness of this explanation. David Lewis has attempted to re-establish the notion of convention as a partial explanation of analytic truth [and his] explication of "convention" is a tour de force of Humean analysis." Philosophy and Rhetoric

"This book has been published for quite some time. Its significant contribution is no longer in question [and it will] remain a central reference for discussions on the nature of conventions. An excellent book for teaching purposes." Australasian Journal of Philosophy

Customer Reviews