Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"N. P. Adams"

Titel: Moralism and Realism in Theorizing Social Norms
Autor: N. P. Adams
Seite: 13-24

In Morality and Socially Constructed Norms, Valentini searches for a unifying principle that underlies whatever genuine obligations we might have to obey the norms of any and all social practices, ranging from line queueing norms, through offsides rules in soccer, to obligations not to break the law. I argue that this search is driven, and distorted, by a commitment to what Bernard Williams labeled the ‘morality system’. Once we see this, we should question the value of the unifying project. Most social norms can be considered on their own terms, as part of a rich and variegated ethical life, without subsuming them under the question of whether others’ moral rights are at stake. Similarly, political obligation needs to be understood in relation to the practical activity of politics, not as an abstract moral quandary.

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