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Friday, August 03, 2012

More Thoughts on David Lewis: Conventions and Semi-Conventions

Following Lewis, we can say that in the US there is a convention to drive on the right, and in the UK on the left. But what should we call the situation that exists when walking in crowds? For I have noticed in each country that there is a tendency, albeit fairly weak, for pedestrians to follow the convention for automobiles: in the UK, pedestrians tend to shift leftward to avoid collisions, while in the US they tend to shift right.

What is the right way to characterize the above? Is it a convention at all -- a weak convention? -- or just the shadow cast by a genuine convention?

2 comments:

  1. I never noticed this at Oxford. Then again, I did get run over by a bicycle, so that shows you how observant I am.

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    Replies
    1. That's far easier than you let on, let me tell you.

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