There do exist, Celano argues, entities which can be characterised as “normative facts”: regularly followed patterns of action (factual regularities) which, as such, constitute standards of correctness (norms). “Pre-conventions” are a peculiar kind of such entities.
Following Celano, a pre-convention is a social structure defined by the following conditions.
(1) Members of a social group G (let us call them “the Gs”) behave regularly, performing actions that satisfy a certain action type A, in circumstances that satisfy a certain situation type S. Let us say, in short, that the Gs replicate the behavioural scheme “A in S”. In this respect, “A in S” is a factual regularity amongst the Gs.
(2) The replication of “A in S” by the Gs is “automatic”: it happens without reasoning and deliberate choice, and is, as such, different from and irreducible to the observance of the “rule”, or the system of rules, which prescribes the doing of A in S. In doing A in S, therefore, the Gs a...