Normativity: A Unit of

In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Blackwells (forthcoming)
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This entry discusses the notion of a unit of normativity. This notion may be understood in two distinct ways. One way to understand a unit of normativity is as some particular type of assignment of normative status, e.g., a requirement, an ought, a reason, or a permission. A second way to understand a unit of normativity is as a measure of a quantity of normativity, perhaps associated with the numerical assignment given to the strength of reasons. This entry outlines some basic differences among units of normativity in the first sense, noting that they vary slightly depending on whether one is talking about normativity in a more general or more robust sense. This entry also discusses in more detail the question of whether there might be a unit of normativity in the second sense. It discusses the relevant metaphysical questions. It also provides an explanation of why reasons can be assigned numerical strengths, even if there are no units of normativity in the sense of measurements of quantities of normativity.
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