Kinds of norms

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This article provides an overview of recent, empirically supported categorization schemes that have been proposed to distinguish different kinds of norms. Amongst these are the moral–conventional distinction and divisions within moral norms such as those proposed by moral foundations theory. I identify several dimensions along which norms have been and could usefully be categorized. I discuss some of the most prominent norm categorization proposals and the aims of these existing categorization schemes. I propose that we take a pluralistic approach toward categorizing norms: Depending on our goals, it may be useful to focus on different features of norms, and as a result, it will be useful to categorize norms in multiple ways.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12416
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophy Compass
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


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