Chapter

Norms

Hans Kelsen

in General Theory of Norms

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198252177.003.0001
Norms

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This chapter outlines different kinds of norms. A norm can be individual or general. A norm is individual if it decrees a once-only individually specified instance of behaviour to be obligatory. A norm is general if it decrees some generally specified behaviour to be obligatory. The individual or general character of a norm does not depend on whether it is addressed to an individually specified person or to a number of individually specified persons or to a class of persons (i.e. a number of persons specified generally rather than individually). What is obligatory in a norm (or commanded in an imperative) is a certain behaviour. This can be a once-only individually specified instance of behaviour of one or more individually specified persons; but it can also be an indefinite number of actions or omissions of one individually specified person or of a definite class of persons.

Keywords: norms; behaviour; individually specified person; class of persons; obligation

Chapter.  3607 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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