Rules as Generalizations


in Playing by the Rules

Published in print February 1993 | ISBN: 9780198258315
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681844 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Law Series

Rules as Generalizations

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  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law


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This chapter examines the relationship between rules and descriptive generalizations in the context of decision making. The findings reveal the potential of descriptive generalization to focus on the irrelevant and suppress the relevant, and since prescriptive rules incorporate descriptive generalizations they also contain those error-producing characteristics. This chapter concludes that prescriptive rules can be either potentially or actually under- and over-inclusive.

Keywords: descriptive generalizations; prescriptive rules; errors

Chapter.  9357 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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