Cooperative Conventions, Rules of Recognition and Institutional Practices

  • Rodrigo E. Sánchez Brigido
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 126)


According to Sánchez Brigido, after abandoning the idea that the rule of recognition is a coordinative convention in Lewis’s sense, Postema offered a new, more sophisticated version of conventionalism. According to this new version, the rule of recognition should be understood, not as a coordinative convention, but as a cooperative convention. The paper examines Postema’s cooperative convention account. It claims that it is unsuccessful for a crucial reason: certain features of officials’ practice show that there might be a practice constitutive of a rule of recognition but there need not be any cooperative problem to be solved. Uncertainty, interdependence and mutually conditional preferences (the conditions that define a cooperative problem) need not be present. The paper also suggests that a proper account of rules of recognition should recognize that the practice constituted by such a rule should be understood, not as a cooperative convention, but as a special type of institutional practice.



I am grateful to Hernán Bouvier and Juan Iosa for their comments on an earlier version of this work.


  1. Coleman J (1982) Negative and positive positivism. J Leg Stud 11:139–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Coleman J (1998) Incorporation, conventionality and the practical difference theory. Leg Theory 4:381–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Coleman J (2001) The practice of principle. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Green L (1998) The authority of the state. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Green L (1999) Positivism and conventionalism. Can J Law Jurisprud 12:35–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hacker P (1977) Hart’s philosophy of law. In: Hacker P, Raz J (eds) Law, morality, and society: essays in honour of H.L.A. Hart. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  7. Hart HLA (1994) The concept of law, 2nd edn. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Lewis D (1969) Convention: a philosophical study. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  9. MacCormick N (1981) H.L.A. Hart. Edward Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Marmor A (2001) Legal conventionalism. In: Coleman J (ed) Hart’s postscript: essays on the postscript to the concept of law. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  11. Marmor A (2006) How law is like chess. Leg Theory 12:347–371Google Scholar
  12. Marmor A (2009) Social conventions. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Postema G (1982) Coordination and convention at the foundations of law. J Leg Stud 11:165–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Postema G (2011) A treatise of legal philosophy and general jurisprudence. Springer, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Raz J (1972) Voluntary obligations and normative powers. Proc Aristot Soc Suppl 46:95Google Scholar
  16. Raz J (1979) The authority of law: essays on law and morality. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Raz J (1980) The concept of a legal system. Clarendon Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Raz J (1986) The morality of freedom. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  19. Raz J (1990) Practical reason and norms. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  20. Raz J (2013) Entre la autoridad y la interpretación. Marcial Pons, MadridGoogle Scholar
  21. Sánchez Brigido R (2010) Groups, rules and legal practice. Springer, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shapiro S (2002) Law, plans, and practical reason. Leg Theory 8:387–441Google Scholar
  23. Vilajosana JM (2010) El derecho en acción. Marcial Pons, MadridGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina

Personalised recommendations