Against Content Normativity

Mind 118 (469):31-70 (2009)
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Abstract

As meaning's claim to normativity has grown increasingly suspect the normativity thesis has shifted to mental content. In this paper, we distinguish two versions of content normativism: 'CE normativism', according to which it is essential to content that certain 'oughts' can be derived from it, and 'CD normativism', according to which content is determined by norms in the first place. We argue that neither type of normativism withstands scrutiny. CE normativism appeals to the fact that there is an essential connection between content and correctness conditions. But, we argue, this fact is by itself normatively innocent, and attempts to add a normative dimension via the normativity of belief ultimately fail. CD normativism, in turn, falls prey to the 'dilemma of regress and idleness': the appeal to rules either leads to some form of regress of rules, or the notion of rule-following is reduced to an idle label. We conclude by suggesting that our arguments do not support naturalism: it is a mistake to assume that normativism and naturalism are our only options

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Author Profiles

Kathrin Glüer
Stockholm University
Asa Maria Wikforss
Stockholm University

Citations of this work

The Russellian Retreat.Clayton Littlejohn - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):293-320.
Epistemic Dilemmas: A Guide.Nick Hughes - forthcoming - In Essays on Epistemic Dilemmas. Oxford University Press.
Inferentialism: Why Rules Matter.Jaroslav Peregrin - 2014 - London and New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Linguistic Mistakes.Indrek Reiland - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (5):2191-2206.

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