August 11, 2015

Institutions and Norms

Nicos Stavropoulos, University of Oxford, Faculty of Law, has published The Grounds of Law: Morality and History. Here is the abstract.
How can institutions systematically and reliably change people's normative situation? Three main alternatives can be distilled from the literature. (1) Through a proprietary non-moral mechanism, whereby institutions change (at least in their own eyes) people’s normative situation simply by conveying or otherwise endorsing the change. (2) Through a proprietary hybrid mechanism that mixes the normative effects of the non-moral one with moral ideals, thereby extending, restricting, or otherwise modifying those effects. (3) Through an ordinary moral mechanism, whereby the actions of institutions change people’s normative situation by changing people's morally relevant circumstances. Interpretation is usually understood to model the second, hybrid mechanism. I consider a conception of interpretation that gives it a central role within the third, plain moral mechanism.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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