Read e-book online Explaining Norms PDF

By Robert E. Goodin, Geoffrey Brennan, Lina Eriksson, Nicholas Southwood

ISBN-10: 0199654689

ISBN-13: 9780199654680

Norms are a pervasive but mysterious function of social existence. In Explaining Norms, 4 philosophers and social scientists staff as much as grapple with many of the many mysteries, supplying a complete account of norms: what they're; how and why they emerge, persist and alter; and the way they paintings. Norms, they argue, can be understood in non-reductive phrases as clusters of normative attitudes that serve the functionality of creating us liable to at least one another--with the several sorts of norms (legal, ethical, and social norms) differing in advantage of being constituted through other kinds of normative attitudes that serve to make us liable in numerous methods. causes of and by means of norms will be visible as completely pluralist in personality. causes of norms may still attract the ways in which norms aid us to pursue initiatives and objectives, separately and jointly, in addition to to allow us to represent social meanings. reasons through norms may still realize the multiplicity of how within which norms may well undergo upon the activities we practice, the attitudes we shape and the modes of deliberation within which we have interaction: following, simply conforming with, or even breaching norms. whereas advancing novel and targeted positions on all of those themes, Explaining Norms also will function a sourcebook with a wealthy array of arguments and illustrations for others to reassemble in methods in their personal choosing.


"There is not any doubt that Explaining Norms is the paintings of a really clever band of philosophers.... There are insightful discussions all through, which come with great observations approximately undesirable norms, and the way we'd version internalizing and following norms. it really is definitely an important contribution to the rising, and critical, literature on norms."--Gerald Gaus, Notre Dame Philosophical studies

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Example text

The case of the Chastians satisfies either of Bicchieri’s sufficient conditions for the existence of a norm. There is the right kind of cluster of conditional desires. Yet it surely cannot be right to say that there is a ‘norm’ among the Chastians of having sex before marriage, that the principle that one must have sex before marriage is accepted by the Chastians. At most, we can say that there is a ‘possible norm’ that the Chastians desire to conform to, and clearly ‘possible norms’ are not norms.

22 At a first glance, Bicchieri might seem to be suggesting that norms have an essential behavioural aspect such that they must be generally complied with, and that the norms as normative attitudes view is mistaken since it implies that norms may not be generally complied with. However, given Bicchieri’s own account of norms, it is clear that this cannot be what she has in mind. As we saw above, it is vitally important for Bicchieri to distinguish the question of whether a norm exists from the question of whether the norm is generally complied with.

Notice that condition (ii) involves two sets of individuals: (a) the set of individuals who have P-corresponding normative attitudes and (b) the set of individuals who know that a significant proportion of the members of G have P-corresponding normative attitudes. These two sets of individuals may overlap,20 but we don’t assume that they are identical. It might be wondered why we need condition (ii). To see why, suppose that it were to turn out that in our society an overwhelming majority of individuals judge that one must never, under any circumstances, engage in masturbation; are disposed to disapprove of those who masturbate; to judge such disapproval as warranted; and so on.

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Explaining Norms by Robert E. Goodin, Geoffrey Brennan, Lina Eriksson, Nicholas Southwood

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