Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 August 2020
Chapter 4 develops the information economy framework further by exploring two of its essential elements. In particular, the chapter further explores the nature of social environments and social-cognitive abilities. One central idea is that social environments are “layered” in ways that create various kinds of transmission channels. In particular, social environments are shaped in part by (a) interpersonal relationships, (b) social norms, (c) institutional rules, and (d) positive law. These various dimensions constitute a kind of “social space” that practical-cognitive agents must navigate. Such space is also “contoured,” in ways that affect the flow of information. A related idea is that practical-cognitive agents must embody various social-cognitive capacities, including linguistic capacities, mind-reading capacities, and what one might call “social sensibilities”; that is, awareness of one’s location in social space.