Chapter

Norms and Means–End Relations: Ought and Must—Teleological (Causal) and Normative Necessity—Norms and Ends

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/9780198252177.003.0002
Norms and Means–End Relations: Ought and Must—Teleological (Causal) and Normative Necessity—Norms and Ends

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An is-rule can take the form of a causal law to the effect that something must occur under certain conditions. The word ‘must’ expresses causal necessity. If we suppose that ‘ought’ also expresses necessity, then a clear distinction has to be made between causal and normative necessity. Since the term ‘norm’ can be used in ordinary speech to refer not only to an ought-rule but also to an is-rule, some people fail to distinguish clearly between the two kinds of necessity and use ‘ought’ and ‘must’ synonymously, a most misleading practice. This is particularly so when people suppose that the question ‘What ought I to do?’ can be answered with the well-known saying ‘Who wills the end, must will the means’, that is, when people identify normative with teleological necessity, with the necessity involved in the relation between means and end.

Keywords: norms; means–end relations; causal necessity; normative necessity; ought-rule; is-rule

Chapter.  1896 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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