Non-mandatory norms

Joseph Raz

in Practical Reason and Norms

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268345
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683503 | DOI:
Non-mandatory norms

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This chapter examines the nature of two types of non-mandatory norms: permissive and power-conferring norms. It clarifies the sense in which permissions can be regarded as norms. ‘Permission’, like so many other normative terms, is used in a variety of contexts to make a variety of points. That a person is permitted to perform an act does not necessarily imply that anyone has given him permission to do it. The chapter discusses the granting of permissions. That an act is permitted might mean no more than that the reasons against performing it are not sufficient to determine that it ought not to be done. In this sense, a person is permitted to perform an action if, and only if, it is not the case that he ought, all things considered, to refrain from it. Used in this sense, being permitted to perform an action is compatible with having to perform it.

Keywords: non-mandatory norms; permission; reasons for action; power-conferring norms

Chapter.  9836 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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