Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sciaraffa - Hetcher's 'Norms In A Wired World'

"One of Hetcher's main aims is to provide an account of ... informal social practices, which he refers to as norms. To this end, Hetcher argues in the first part of his book that norms are best conceived as patterns of behavior instantiated in a group and distinguishes between three kinds of norms: sanction-driven, coordination, and epistemic norms. Hetcher employs this conception and tripartite typology of norms in analyses of the evidentiary rule of custom in tort law and the emerging norms of online privacy in parts two and three of his book, respectively. The book's main and most interesting contribution to the literature is largely implicit in these analyses. Hetcher's basic idea is that characteristic of each kind of norm in his tripartite typology is a particular set of virtues and vices that have implications for how best to regulate a domain containing such norms. Thus, the wise legislator should take into account the kinds of social norms, if any, relevant to a domain before regulating it." - NDPR.

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