Norms are concepts (sentences) of practical import, oriented to effecting an action, rather than conceptual abstractions that describe, explain, and express. Normative sentences imply "ought-to" types of statements and assertions, in distinction to sentences that provide "is" types of statements and assertions. Common normative sentences include commands, permissions, and prohibitions; common normative abstract concepts include sincerity, justification, and honesty. A popular account of norms describes them as reasons to take action, to believe, and to feel.
Orders and permissions express norms. Such norm sentences do not describe how the world is, they rather prescribe how the world should be. Imperative sentences are the most obvious way to express norms, but declarative sentences also may be norms, as is the case with laws or 'principles'. Generally, whether an expression is a norm depends on what the sentence intends to assert. For instance, a sentence of the form "All Ravens are Black" could on one account be taken as descriptive, in which case an instance of a white raven would contradict it, or alternatively "All Ravens are Black" could be interpreted as a norm, in which case it stands as a principle and definition, so 'a white raven' would then not be a raven.
Those norms purporting to create obligations (or duties) and permissions are called deontic norms (see also deontic logic). The concept of deontic norm is already an extension of a previous concept of norm, which would only include imperatives, that is, norms purporting to create duties. The understanding that permissions are norms in the same way was an important step in ethics and philosophy of law.
In addition to deontic norms, many other varieties have been identified. For instance, some constitutions establish the national anthem. These norms do not directly create any duty or permission. They create a "national symbol". Other norms create nations themselves or political and administrative regions within a nation. The action orientation of such norms is less obvious than in the case of a command or permission, but is essential for understanding the relevance of issuing such norms: When a folk song becomes a "national anthem" the meaning of singing one and the same song changes; likewise, when a piece of land becomes an administrative region, this has legal consequences for many activities taking place on that territory; and without these consequences concerning action, the norms would be irrelevant. A more obviously action-oriented variety of such constitutive norms (as opposed to deontic or regulatory norms) establishes social institutions which give rise to new, previously inexistent types of actions or activities (a standard example is the institution of marriage without which "getting married" would not be a feasible action; another is the rules constituting a game: without the norms of soccer, there would not exist such an action as executing an indirect free kick).
Any convention can create a norm, although the relation between both is not settled.
There is a significant discussion about (legal) norms that give someone the power to create other norms. They are called power-conferring norms or norms of competence. Some authors argue that they are still deontic norms, while others argue for a close connection between them and institutional facts (see Raz 1975, Ruiter 1993).
Games completely depend on norms. The fundamental norm of many games is the norm establishing who wins and loses. In other games, it is the norm establishing how to score points.
One major characteristic of norms is that, unlike propositions, they are not descriptively true or false, since norms do not purport to describe anything, but to prescribe, create or change something. Some people say they are "prescriptively true" or false. Whereas the truth of a descriptive statement is purportedly based on its correspondence to reality, some philosophers, beginning with Aristotle, assert that the (prescriptive) truth of a prescriptive statement is based on its correspondence to right desire. Other philosophers maintain that norms are ultimately neither true or false, but only successful or unsuccessful (valid or invalid), as their propositional content obtains or not (see also John Searle and speech act).
There is an important difference between norms and normative propositions, although they are often expressed by identical sentences. "You may go out" usually expresses a norm if it is uttered by the teacher to one of the students, but it usually expresses a normative proposition if it is uttered to one of the students by one of his or her classmates. Some ethical theories reject that there can be normative propositions, but these are accepted by cognitivism. One can also think of propositional norms; assertions and questions arguably express propositional norms (they set a proposition as asserted or questioned).
Another purported feature of norms, it is often argued, is that they never regard only natural properties or entities. Norms always bring something artificial, conventional, institutional or "unworldly". This might be related to Hume's assertion that it is not possible to derive ought from is and to G.E. Moore's claim that there is a naturalistic fallacy when one tries to analyse "good" and "bad" in terms of a natural concept. In aesthetics, it has also been argued that it is impossible to derive an aesthetical predicate from a non-aesthetical one. The acceptability of non-natural properties, however, is strongly debated in present-day philosophy. Some authors deny their existence, some others try to reduce them to natural ones, on which the former supervene.
Other thinkers (Adler, 1986) assert that norms can be natural in a different sense than that of "corresponding to something proceeding from the object of the prescription as a strictly internal source of action". Rather, those who assert the existence of natural prescriptions say norms can suit a natural need on the part of the prescribed entity. More to the point, however, is the putting forward of the notion that just as descriptive statements being considered true are conditioned upon certain self-evident descriptive truths suiting the nature of reality (such as: it is impossible for the same thing to be and not be at the same time and in the same manner), a prescriptive truth can suit the nature of the will through the authority of it being based upon self-evident prescriptive truths (such as: one ought to desire what is really good for one and nothing else).
Recent works maintain that normativity has an important role in several different philosophical subjects, not only in ethics and philosophy of law (see Dancy, 2000).
An appeal to nature is an argument or rhetorical tactic in which it is proposed that "a thing is good because it is 'natural', or bad because it is 'unnatural'". It is generally considered to be a bad argument because the implicit (unstated) primary premise "What is natural is good" is typically irrelevant, having no cogent meaning in practice, or is an opinion instead of a fact. In some philosophical frameworks where natural and good are clearly defined within a specific context, the appeal to nature might be valid and cogent.Canon (basic principle)
The concept of canon is very broad; in a general sense it refers to being one (adjectival) or a group (noun) of official, authentic or approved rules or laws, particularly ecclesiastical; or group of official, authentic, or approved literary or artistic works, such as the literature of a particular author, of a particular genre, or a particular group of relgious scriptural texts,, or similarly, one or a body of rules, principles, or standards accepted as axiomatic and universally binding in a religion, or a field of study or art. This can be related to such topics as literary canons, a topic within itelf, for which see canon (disambiguation)#Literature.
There is also the concept of the canons of rhetoric, including five key principles, which when grouped together, are the principles set for giving speeches as seen with regard to rhetoric. This is one such example of how the term canon is used in regard to rhetoric.Deontic logic
Deontic logic is the field of philosophical logic that is concerned with obligation, permission, and related concepts. Alternatively, a deontic logic is a formal system that attempts to capture the essential logical features of these concepts. Typically, a deontic logic uses OA to mean it is obligatory that A, (or it ought to be (the case) that A), and PA to mean it is permitted (or permissible) that A.
The term deontic is derived from the Ancient Greek δέον déon (gen.: δέοντος déontos), meaning "that which is binding or proper."Deontological ethics
In moral philosophy, deontological ethics or deontology (from Greek δέον, deon, "obligation, duty")
is the normative ethical theory that the morality of an action should be based on whether that action itself is right or wrong under a series of rules, rather than based on the consequences of the action.It is sometimes described as duty-, obligation- or rule-based ethics, because rules "bind one to one's duty". Deontological ethics is commonly contrasted to consequentialism, virtue ethics, and pragmatic ethics. In this terminology, action is more important than the consequences.
It is an ethical framework that depends on the predefined sets of rules and policies for the proper functioning of a system in the environment. The deontology is simply based on the checklist which includes certain rules to be followed while performing a particular task. According to this framework, the work is considered virtuous only if this checklist is completed.
This procedure is very simple to implement and understand. Minimum time is consumed to decide between right and wrong. However, its simplicity ignores the consequences of the decision taken under this approach.
The term deontological was first used to describe the current, specialised definition by C. D. Broad in his 1930 book, Five Types of Ethical Theory Older usage of the term goes back to Jeremy Bentham, who coined it before 1816 as a synonym of Dicastic or Censorial Ethics (i.e. ethics based on judgement).
The more general sense of the word is retained in French, especially in the term code de déontologie (ethical code), in the context of professional ethics.
Depending on the system of deontological ethics under consideration, a moral obligation may arise from an external or internal source, such as a set of rules inherent to the universe (ethical naturalism), religious law, or a set of personal or cultural values (any of which may be in conflict with personal desires).Enculturation
Enculturation is the process by which people learn the dynamics of their surrounding culture and acquire values and norms appropriate or necessary in that culture and worldviews. As part of this process, the influences that limit, direct, or shape the individual (whether deliberately or not) include parents, other adults, and peers. If successful, enculturation results in competence in the language, values, and rituals of the culture.Enculturation is related to socialization. In some academic fields, socialization refers to the deliberate shaping of the individual. In others, the word may cover both deliberate and informal enculturation.Conrad Phillip Kottak (in Window on Humanity) writes:
Enculturation is the process where the culture that is currently established teaches an individual the accepted norms and values of the culture or society where the individual lives. The individual can become an accepted member and fulfill the needed functions and roles of the group. Most importantly the individual knows and establishes a context of boundaries and accepted behavior that dictates what is acceptable and not acceptable within the framework of that society. It teaches the individual their role within society as well as what is accepted behavior within that society and lifestyle.
Enculturation is sometimes referred to as acculturation, a word recently used to more distinctively refer only to exchanges of cultural features with foreign cultures. Note that this is a recent development, as acculturation in some literatures has the same meaning as enculturation.Index of ethics articles
This Index of ethics articles puts articles relevant to well-known ethical (right and wrong, good and bad) debates and decisions in one place - including practical problems long known in philosophy, and the more abstract subjects in law, politics, and some professions and sciences. It lists also those core concepts essential to understanding ethics as applied in various religions, some movements derived from religions, and religions discussed as if they were a theory of ethics making no special claim to divine status.Index of philosophy of language articles
This is an index of articles in philosophy of language
Alfred Jules Ayer
Alphabet of human thought
Applicative Universal Grammar
Archie J. Bahm
Association for Logic, Language and Information
Bob Hale (philosopher)
Carl Gustav Hempel
Causal theory of reference
César Chesneau Dumarsais
Cheung Kam Ching
Concept and object
Contrast theory of meaning
David Kellogg Lewis
De dicto and de re
Descriptivist theory of names
Direct reference theory
Direction of fit
Donald Davidson (philosopher)
Ethics and Language
European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information
F. H. Bradley
Failure to refer
Form of life (philosophy)
Function and Concept
G. E. M. Anscombe
Gareth Evans (philosopher)
Gordon Park Baker
Ideal speech situation
Indeterminacy of translation
Inferential role semantics
Internalism and externalism
J. L. Austin
James F. Conant
Jonathan Bennett (philosopher)
Journal of Logic, Language and Information
Language and thought
Language of thought
Language, Truth, and Logic
Linguistics and Philosophy
List of philosophers of language
Meaning (philosophy of language)
Mediated reference theory
Metaphor in philosophy
Modularity of mind
Mumbo Jumbo (phrase)
Naming and Necessity
Ordinary language philosophy
P. F. Strawson
Philosophical interpretation of classical physics
Philosophy and literature
Philosophy of language
Principle of charity
Principle of compositionality
Private language argument
Proper name (philosophy)
Redundancy theory of truth
Rhetoric of social intervention model
Richard von Mises
Robert Maximilian de Gaynesford
Round square copula
S. Morris Engel
Sense and reference
Sense and Sensibilia (Austin)
The Naturalization of Intentionality
Theory of descriptions
Two Dogmas of Empiricism
Willard Van Orman Quine
William C. Dowling
Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language
Word and Object
ZhuangziIndex of philosophy of law articles
This is an index of articles in jurisprudence.
A Failure of Capitalism
American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy
António Castanheira Neves
Arthur Linton Corbin
Bartolomé de las Casas
Biblical law in Christianity
Carl Joachim Friedrich
Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu
Critical legal studies
Critical race theory
Daniel N. Robinson
Declaration of Delhi
Dignitas (Roman concept)
Divine command theory
Duncan Kennedy (legal philosopher)
Emerich de Vattel
Ernesto Garzón Valdés
Ethical arguments regarding torture
Expounding of the Law
Eye for an eye
Feminist legal theory
First possession theory of property
Freedom of contract
Friedrich von Hayek
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
German Historical School
Giorgio Del Vecchio
Global Justice or Global Revenge?
H. L. A. Hart
Indeterminacy debate in legal theory
International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy
International legal theory
John Austin (legal philosopher)
John Macdonell (jurist)
Joseph H. H. Weiler
Juan de Mariana
Labor theory of property
Law and economics
Law and Gospel
Law and literature
Law as integrity
Law in action
Law of Christ
Law, Legislation and Liberty
Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy
Legal origins theory
Legal process (jurisprudence)
Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
Legalism (Western philosophy)
Letter and spirit of the law
Libertarian theories of law
Lon L. Fuller
Manuel de Lardizábal y Uribe
Monism and dualism in international law
Monopoly on violence
Natural order (philosophy)
New legal realism
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach
Philippe de Mornay
Philosophy of copyright
Prediction theory of law
Principles of Islamic jurisprudence
Public policy doctrine (conflict of laws)
R. Kent Greenawalt
Robert P. George
Roberto Mangabeira Unger
Rule by decree
Rule of Faith
Rule of law
Scepticism in law
State of emergency
State of exception
The Case of the Speluncean Explorers
The Concept of Law
The Golden Rule
Translating "law" to other European languages
Unitary executive theory
Wesley Alba Sturges
Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld
Zechariah ChafeeNaturalistic fallacy
In philosophical ethics, the term, naturalistic fallacy, was introduced by British philosopher G. E. Moore in his 1903 book Principia Ethica. Moore argues it would be fallacious to explain that which is good reductively, in terms of natural properties such as pleasant or desirable.
Moore's naturalistic fallacy is closely related to the is–ought problem, which comes from David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1738–40). However, unlike Hume's view of the is–ought problem, Moore (and other proponents of ethical non-naturalism) did not consider the naturalistic fallacy to be at odds with moral realism.
The term, “naturalistic fallacy” should not be confused with the appeal to nature fallacy, exemplified by forms of reasoning such as "Something is natural; therefore, it is morally acceptable" or "This property is unnatural; therefore, this property is undesirable." Such inferences are common in discussions of medicine, sexuality, environmentalism, gender roles, race, and carnism.Normative
Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad or undesirable or impermissible. A norm in this normative sense means a standard for evaluating or making judgments about behavior or outcomes. Normative is sometimes also used, somewhat confusingly, to mean relating to a descriptive standard: doing what is normally done or what most others are expected to do in practice. In this sense a norm is not evaluative, a basis for judging behavior or outcomes; it is simply a fact or observation about behavior or outcomes, without judgment. Many researchers in this field try to restrict the use of the term normative to the evaluative sense and refer to the description of behavior and outcomes as positive, descriptive, predictive, or empirical.Normative has specialized meanings in different academic disciplines such as philosophy, social sciences, and law. In most contexts, normative means 'relating to an evaluation or value judgment.' Normative propositions tend to evaluate some object or some course of action. Normative content differs from descriptive content.One of the major developments in analytic philosophy has seen the reach of normativity spread to virtually all corners of the field, from ethics and the philosophy of action, to epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of science. Saul Kripke famously showed that rules (including mathematical rules, such as the repetition of a decimal pattern) are normative in an important respect.Though philosophers disagree about how normativity should be understood, it has become increasingly common to understand normative claims as claims about reasons. As Derek Parfit explains:
We can have reasons to believe something, to do something, to have some desire or aim, and to have many other attitudes and emotions, such as fear, regret, and hope. Reasons are given by facts, such as the fact that someone's finger-prints are on some gun, or that calling an ambulance would save someone's life. It is hard to explain the concept of a reason, or what the phrase 'a reason' means. Facts give us reasons, we might say, when they count in favour of our having some attitude, or our acting in some way. But 'counts in favour of' means roughly 'gives a reason for'. The concept of a reason is best explained by example. One example is the thought that we always have a reason to want to avoid being in agony.Normative (disambiguation)
Normative in academic disciplines means relating to an ideal standard or model, and in particular a normative statement (or norm see below) is a statement that affirms how things should or ought to be, that is how to value them.
Normative disciplines include:
Normative economics, a branch of economics that incorporates value judgments
Normative jurisprudence, a branch of legal theory,and in philosophy, see
Normative ethics, a branch of philosophical ethics concerned with morality, and
Norm (philosophy)Normative may also refer to:
Normative assessment, in education, a type of test or evaluation
Normative mineralogy, a geochemical mineralogy calculation
Normative grammar, grammar aimed at laying down grammatical normsNormative ethics
Normative ethics is the study of ethical action. It is the branch of philosophical ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking.
Normative ethics is distinct from meta-ethics because it examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning of moral language and the metaphysics of moral facts; and it is distinct from applied ethics in that the former is more concerned with 'who ought one be' rather than the ethics of a specific issue (such as if, or when, abortion is acceptable).
Normative ethics is also distinct from descriptive ethics, as the latter is an empirical investigation of people’s moral beliefs. In this context normative ethics is sometimes called prescriptive, rather than descriptive ethics. However, on certain versions of the meta-ethical view called moral realism, moral facts are both descriptive and prescriptive at the same time.
Most traditional moral theories rest on principles that determine whether an action is right or wrong. Classical theories in this vein include utilitarianism, Kantianism, and some forms of contractarianism. These theories mainly offered the use of overarching moral principles to resolve difficult moral decisions.Normative statement
In economics and philosophy, a normative statement expresses a value judgment about whether a situation is desirable or undesirable. It looks at the world as it "should" be. "The world would be a better place if the moon were made of green cheese" is a normative statement because it expresses a judgment about what ought to be. Normative statements are characterised by the modal verbs "should", "would", "could" or "must". They form the basis of normative economics, and are the opposite of positive statements.Outline of ethics
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to ethics:
Ethics – major branch of philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common conception of analyzing right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or life that is simply satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct.Social norm
Norms are regarded as collective representations of acceptable group conduct as well as individual perceptions of particular group conduct. They can be viewed as cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions) which represent individuals' basic knowledge of what others do and think that they should do. From a sociological perspective, social norms are informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society. Social psychology recognizes smaller group units (such as a team or an office) may also endorse norms separately or in addition to cultural or societal expectations.In the field of social psychology, the roles of norms are emphasized—which can guide behavior in a certain situation or environment as "mental representations of appropriate behavior". It has been shown that normative messages can promote pro-social behavior, including decreasing alcohol use and increasing voter turnout. According to the psychological definition of social norms' behavioral component, norms have two dimensions: how much a behavior is exhibited, and how much the group approves of that behavior. These dimensions can be used in normative messages to alter norms (and subsequently alter behaviors). A message can target the former dimension by describing high levels of voter turnout in order to encourage more turnout. Norms also can be changed contingent on the observed behavior of others (how much behavior is exhibited).
Social norms can be thought of as: "rules that prescribe what people should and should not do given their social surroundings" (known as milieu, sociocultural context) and circumstances. Examination of norms is "scattered across disciplines and research traditions, with no clear consensus on how the term should be used."Two wrongs make a right
In rhetoric and ethics, "two wrongs make a right" and "two wrongs don't make a right" are phrases that denote philosophical norms. "Two wrongs make a right" has been considered as a fallacy of relevance, in which an allegation of wrongdoing is countered with a similar allegation. Its antithesis, "two wrongs don't make a right", is a proverb used to rebuke or renounce wrongful conduct as a response to another's transgression.