Are There Any Conventional Obligations?
There are reasons to believe that conventional obligations are impossible. Thus, it could be argued that for me to have an obligation to Φ in virtue of the fact that a convention so requires, it must be the case that I have a convention-independent obligation to do some thing else such that, given the existence of the convention, Φing is a way of doing just that. But, then, my obligation to Φ would not really be conventional at all. On closer inspection, so-called conventional obligations turn out to be no more than a specification of what our nonconventional obligations require given the circumstances. In this paper, I shall argue that contra to what this argument suggests, there can be genuinely conventional obliga tions. To do so, I develop a second-personal account of conventional obligations, accord ing to which obligations are grounded by conventions in virtue of an explanation that does not follow the indicated pattern
Legal Theory , First View , pp. 1 - 32 (ISSN: 1469-8048)