Two concepts of attachment to rules

Christian Greiffenhagen, Wes Sharrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we discuss some implications of John Rawls' paper 'Two Concepts of Rules' (1955) for social science. We argue that Rawls' notion of 'practice' is not a straightforward contribution to sociological theory, but rather re-orients the idea of what understanding social actions might be. We explicate how Rawls' distinction between 'summary' and 'practice' views of rules might play out in approaching mathematical practice and mathematical expressions. We argue that social constructivists like Bloor hold on to a 'summary' conception of rules while Wittgenstein adopts the more radical 'practice' conception. © The Author(s) 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-427
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Classical Sociology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Bloor
  • Ethnomethodology
  • Practice
  • Rawls
  • Rules
  • Wittgenstein


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