Mores is certainly idiomatically correct expression for "behavior", but one might not think it the best word for "behavior" as such for an article on "behavior" specifically, since mos singular specially means "custom" and thus mores would mean "customs", which is not quite the same as "behavior". The difference between behavior and custom I think is the social element, behavior is said of a single person without reference to established social norms.
Consuetudo is a slightly more general term, meaning "habit/custom/usage/way/tradition/customary practice" without invoking the idea of "appropriateness" that mos also calls forth. But it is still too general so I would try to be more specific, try e.g., vitae consuetudo seu mores (meaning "the habit or customs of life").--Rafaelgarcia 13:26, 26 Aprilis 2009 (UTC)
- Cassell's specifically & only defines 'behaviour' as mores (-um, pl.), but under mos defines the plural as 'ways, conduct, character, morals' (a mixed bag). Ainsworth's defines 'behaviour' specifically & only as mores. So the equivalence of English 'behavior' and Latin mores seems to have been established for at least two centuries—which is why I used it as such in Cultura. I raised the question because it may seem problematic to some readers. Too bad Latin doesn't have a singular noun for the thing, but we have to go with what we've got. I suppose we could work backward from modern ideas of comportment to some hypothetical Latin comportamentum, but wouldn't that be cheating? IacobusAmor 13:49, 26 Aprilis 2009 (UTC)
- On second thought I think mos is appropriate. According to L&S the etymology (somewhat dubious apparently) of mos is "mos, mōris, m. etym. dub.; perh. root ma-, measure; cf.: maturus, matutinus; prop., a measuring or guiding rule of life;..." This explains the wide range of meanings subsumed including the "normative aspect" associated with "morality".
- The trouble I had with the use here is that as it applies to organisms in biology, the normative or guiding aspect is missing or inapplicable. Thus the equivalence you point out above, which refers to men, wouldn't apply. Consuetudo on the other hand basically means "an adaptation or habituation" from the root (Consuesco meaning " to accustom, inure, habituate a person or thing" and lacks the normative "guiding rule" aspect.
- However, the scope can be enlarged beyond men by saying something like "mos in biologia et psychologia dicitur consuetudo organismi quod spectat ad actiones...", later supplying a further explanation about "mores ab hominibus libenter electi sunt.?
- I don't suspect that there is a major difference in meaning between plural and singular here, despite what is indicated. As it applies to people, it is only the difference between "a rule/custom of life" and "rules/customs of life = behavior". The distinction is valid and important for translation but naming a page mores presumes that our page names must be a perfect translation of the english page names, which they do not.--Rafaelgarcia 14:37, 26 Aprilis 2009 (UTC)
- We have a nominalisation problem here. The meaning of Engl. behaviour is rather easily covered by verbal expressions such as se gerere or se ferre, but the corresponding nominalisation is lacking. Obviously, mores comes closest, despite its slightly normative connotation. Different languages, different Lebensformen / forms of life. Maybe mores animalium opens a nuance not attained by animal behaviour but, after all, the linguistic relativity, possibly involved, isn't an absolute one. That's why it's so exciting to have different languages around. --Neander 18:21, 26 Aprilis 2009 (UTC)
Organisation of the article[fontem recensere]
As I see it, the present article should provide a compendiary access to more specific treatments of the subject. Obviously, mores is the closest counterpart of behaviour in Latin, but if we talk about "mores" of organisms or artificial entities, we're clearly succumbing to a metaphor, utterly seldom met with in ancient texts. Therefore, it'd be heedless to start the article from biology and continue to "other fields", as is done in the English wikipedia. Our article should start with human norms or customs derived from generally accepted practices, which is the focus of the semantic field of mores. I tried to organise the article accordingly. Neander (disputatio) 10:10, 17 Octobris 2015 (UTC)