Types of Norms and Kinds of Normativity

The project Types of Norms and Kinds of Normativity has two closely related core themes. The first consists in working out a differentiation between important types of norms (e.g. standards, ideals, instrumental and constitutive norms). Starting with a critical discussion of Henrik v. Wright’s and Herbert Schnädelbach’s typologies of norms, we try to bring out some fundamental problems in classifying norms. As a second step, we aim at solving at least some of these problems. The core claim of this attempt says that a detailed description of various practices of criticizing   each other should be the basis of differentiating kinds of normativity – and thereby types of norms.


The investigations within the second core theme of our project are linked to the differentiations between types of norms and turn to the concept of normativity with the aim of analysing the meaning of this concept in a preferably comprehensive manner. Since the concept of normativity is obviously a theoretical concept without a colloquial fixed meaning, such an analysis must track down its uses in philosophical contexts. This task faces the difficulty of being confronted with possibly too different uses, since the concept of normativity currently plays a prominent role in many, often only loosely connected debates falling within the scopes of practical as well as theoretical philosophy. Hence, these different uses should be worked out and be explicitly distinguished in the first place. At the same time our conceptual work has a systematic perspective and should not end with simply registering different uses. Above all we aim at answering the systematically decisive question whether the concept of normativity in the end disintegrates into several, hardly linked concepts, or whether a sort of basic meaning can be found possibly suited for grounding an instructive continuum of uses.


People in this project:

  • Project director / contact
    • Schmidt, Thomas, Prof. Dr. | Profile
    • Willaschek, Marcus, Prof. Dr. | Profile
  • Project members
    • Koob, Fedja, M.A. (former member) | Profile
    • Reuter, Gerson (former member) | Profile
    • Schütze, Oliver (former member) | Profile

Publications of this project:

  • Schmidt, Thomas; Parker, Michael (2010): Religion, Theologie und Naturwissenschaft / Religion, Theology, and Natural Science (RThN), Band 20: Pascal Boyer, The Fracture of an Illusion. Science and the Dissolution of Religion, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2010.
  • Reuter, Gerson (2011): Konstitutive Regeln - normativ oder nicht? Ein Blick auf ihre Rolle in Praktiken, Normative Orders Working Paper 03/2011.
    Details | Link to full text | urn:nbn:de:hebis:30-100922
  • Schmidt, Thomas (2010): “Absolutheit und Unbedingtheit. Idealistische und pragmatistische Strategien der Gottesrede”, Philosophisches Jahrbuch, 117. Jg., II/2010, 339-350.
  • Schmidt, Thomas (2010): „Der Sinn von Unbedingtheit. Skizzen zu einem nachmetaphysischen Begriff des Absoluten“, in: Edmund Runggaldier/Benedikt Schick (Hg.), Letzbegründungen und Gott, Berlin/NewYork 2010, 100-114.
  • Schütze, Oliver (2009): Naturalismus und Normativität. In Becker, Alexander; Detel, Wolfgang (Hrsg.): Natürlicher Geist, Beiträge zu einer undogmatischen Anthropologie. Berlin: Akademie Verlag 2009, S. 165- 188.


XVI. Frankfurter Stadtgespräch

The next Frankfurter Stadtgespräch is entitled "Der Gefühlshaushalt des Kapitalismus. Geldgier als Strukturprinzip?" Prof. Ute Frevert (Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung) in conversation with Prof. Sighard Neckel (Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of normative Orders"), 25 September 2014, 7pm, Historisches Museum. Moderation Rebecca Caroline Schmidt (Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of normative Orders"), presented by Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of normative Orders" with Kulturamt der Stadt Frankfurt am Main. More...

B3 Autumn School and Think Tank with the Cluster of Excellence

B3 Autumn School with participation of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of normative Orders" from 29 September until 4 Oktober 2014. Workshops with Dr. Kolja Möller, Dr. Federica Gregoratto, Dr. Matthias Kettemann, Frederike Popp and Jochen Schuff. Think Tank, expert meeting, ahead of the B3 Biennale 2015, with Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther and Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert. The Autumn School's Organiser is the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach. More...

Upcoming Events

25 September 2014, 7pm

Frankfurter Stadtgespräch XVI: Prof. Ute Frevert (Max Planck Institute for Human Development) in conversation with Prof. Sighard Neckel (Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"). Der Gefühlshaushalt des Kapitalismus. Geldgier als Strukturprinzip? More...

29 September until 4 October 2014

B3 Biennale Autumn School: Workshops: Dr. Kolja Möller, Dr. Federica Gregoratto: Die Revolution drehen. Bertoluccis 1900B3; Dr. Matthias Kettemann, LL.M. (Harvard): Das bewegte Bild - bewegt es Menschen? Engagiertes Imaginieren und Visualisierungen des Ringens um die Menschenrechte; Frederike Popp, Jochen Schuff: Sind Filme Philosohie? - Wir laden ein zum cineastischen Grenzgang (Theorie-Workshop). Think Tank with Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther and Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert. More...

Latest Media

Die Unsichtbarkeit einer perfekten Regie

James Conant (University of Chicago) on Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, USA 1960)
Lecture Series "Gesetz und Gewalt im Kino"

Brasil vs. Brasil

Panel discussion and film "Vinegar Syndrome" (directors: Cesar Oiticica Filho and Tamur Aimara) at the park

New full-text Publications

Günther, Klaus (2014):

Normativer Rechtspluralismus - Eine Kritik, Normative Orders Working Paper 03/2014. More...

Günther, Klaus (2014):

Criminal law, Crime and Punishment as Communication, Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2014. More...