Constitutive and Regulative Rules: a Dispute and a Resolution
This paper examines the distinction between constitutive and regulative rules by way of the philosophical dispute between John Searle and Joseph Raz. These theorists disagree inasmuch as Searle claims that constitutive and regulative rules represent distinct types, while Raz argues that such a differentiation is untenable. This work acknowledges the merits of Raz’s position, but argues that Searle’s distinction between constitutive and regulative rules is sound given certain refinements. The paper argues that the distinction between constitutive and regulative rules should be grounded on the rules’ distinct capacity for guidance (i.e., whether or not the rules themselves constitute normative reasons for action for subjects).
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