David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Mind and Language 21 (2):220-240 (2006)
Many people claim that semantic content is normative, and that therefore naturalistic theories of content face a potentially insuperable difficulty. The normativity of content allegedly undermines naturalism by introducing a gap between semantic 'ought's and the explanatory resources of naturalism. I argue here that this problem is not ultimately pressing for naturalists. The normativity thesis, I maintain, is ambiguous; it could mean either that the content of a term prescribes a pattern of use, or that it merely determines which pattern of use can be described as 'correct'. For the antinaturalist argument to go forward, content must be prescriptive. I argue, however, that it is not. Moreover, the thesis that content supplies standards for correct use is insufficient to supply a similar, a priori objection to naturalism.
|Keywords||Content Meaning Metaphysics Naturalism Normativity Semantics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Robert B. Brandom (1994). Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment. Harvard University Press.
Saul A. Kripke (1982). Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Harvard University Press.
John Henry McDowell (1998). Mind, Value, and Reality. Harvard University Press.
Michael A. E. Dummett (1978). Truth and Other Enigmas. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Krister Bykvist & Anandi Hattiangadi (2007). Does Thought Imply Ought? Analysis 67 (296):277–285.
Derek Baker (2016). Intuitions About Disagreement Do Not Support the Normativity of Meaning. Dialectica 70 (1):65-84.
Hannah Ginsborg (2012). Meaning, Understanding and Normativity. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):127-146.
Daniel Whiting (2009). Is Meaning Fraught with Ought? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (4):535-555.
Benjamin Jarvis (2012). Norms of Intentionality: Norms That Don't Guide. Philosophical Studies 157 (1):1-25.
Similar books and articles
Nenad Smokrović (2002). Semantic Naturalism and Normativity. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):71-81.
Hannah Ginsborg (2011). Review of Oughts and Thoughts: Rule-Following and the Normativity of Content, by Anandi Hattiangadi. [REVIEW] Mind 119 (476):1175-1186.
Michael V. Antony (2006). How to Argue Against (Some) Theories of Content. Iyyun 55 (July):265-286.
Paul A. Boghossian (2003). The Normativity of Content. Philosophical Issues 13 (1):31-45.
Jeff Speaks (2009). The Normativity of Content and 'the Frege Point'. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):405-415.
Kathrin Glüer & Åsa Wikforss (2009). Against Content Normativity. Mind 118 (469):31-70.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads268 ( #8,982 of 1,911,056 )
Recent downloads (6 months)18 ( #34,173 of 1,911,056 )
How can I increase my downloads?