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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Shaping the Normative Landscape


ISBN13: 9780199691500
Published: September 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £35.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780198708049



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Shaping the Normative Landscape is an investigation of the value of obligations and of rights, of forgiveness, of consent and refusal, of promise and request. David Owens shows that these are all instruments by which we exercise control over our normative environment.

Philosophers from Hume to Scanlon have supposed that when we make promises and give our consent, our real interest is in controlling (or being able to anticipate) what people will actually do and that our interest in rights and obligations is a by-product of this more fundamental interest. In fact, we value for its own sake the ability to decide who is obliged to do what, to determine when blame is appropriate, to settle whether an act wrongs us.

Owens explores how we control the rights and obligations of ourselves and of those around us. We do so by making friends and thereby creating the rights and obligations of friendship. We do so by making promises and so binding ourselves to perform. We do so by consenting to medical treatment and thereby giving the doctor the right to go ahead.

The normative character of our world matters to us on its own account. To make sense of promise, consent, friendship and other related phenomena we must acknowledge that normative interests are amongst our fundamental interests. We must also rethink the psychology of agency and the nature of social convention.

Subjects:
Jurisprudence
Contents:
INTRODUCTION

PART ONE: INTERESTS
1. Blame and Guilt
2. Wronging
3. Obligation
4. Obligation and Involvement

PART TWO: POWERS
5. The Problem with Promising
6. The Promissory Interest
7. The Possibility of Consent

PART THREE: PRACTICES
8. What is a Promise?
9. The Promissory Bond
10. Which Promises Bind?

References
Index