Chapter

Normative systems

Joseph Raz

in Practical Reason and Norms

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268345
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683503 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268345.003.0005
Normative systems

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This chapter examines normative systems, that is, systems of norms. One regards the rules of a game or of a language, the laws of a country or the regulations and rules of a social club as forming a system. One says that ‘this is a rule of soccer but it is not a rule of rugby’ or that ‘it is a rule of English but not of French’ or that ‘this is part of English law but there is no such law in the American legal system’. Such statements testify to a conception by which certain groups of norms are more than haphazard assemblages of norms. Normative systems are understood to have some kind of unity. The chapter looks at a few kinds of normative system and shows how their unity consists in certain patterns of logical relations among their norms. It explores constitutive rules, systems of interlocking norms, games as systems of joint validity, games as autonomous normative systems, norm-applying institutions, institutionalized systems and exclusionary reasons, and rules of recognition.

Keywords: normative systems; norms; rules; laws; constitutive rules; games; norm-applying institutions; institutionalized systems; exclusionary reasons; rules of recognition

Chapter.  19051 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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