The Question ‘What Ought I to Do?’

Hans Kelsen

in General Theory of Norms

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI:
The Question ‘What Ought I to Do?’

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The difference between a norm and a statement about a norm becomes clear if one ascertains the meaning of the question, ‘What ought I to do?’ It is the question ethics is supposed to answer. A person who asks a question demands information. Someone who asks a question of another wishes to know something he does not yet know but which he supposes the other person knows. The answer to the question must therefore have the character of information which will increase the knowledge of the questioner. The questioner expects the answer to be a statement which is true.

Keywords: meaning of question; ethics; information; statement; Ought; behaviour

Chapter.  958 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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