Categories and Normativity

In Sanford Gorman (ed.), Categories. The Catholic University of America Press (2004)
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Abstract

Anyone who tries to understand categories soon runs into the problem of giving an account of the unity of a category. Call this the “unity problem.” In this essay, I describe a distinctive and under-studied version of the unity problem and discuss how it might be solved. First, I describe various versions of the unity problem. Second, I focus on one version and argue that it is best dealt with by thinking of at least some categories as “norm-constituted,” in a sense that I try to make clear. Third, I discuss some objections to my proposal. Fourth, I compare norm -constituted categories to categories that are normative in a different sense. Fifth, I briefly discuss the possibility of grounding the normativity of norm-constituted categories. Finally, I raise a few questions for further research.

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Michael Gorman
Catholic University of America

Citations of this work

The Fundamental Character of Metaphysics.Jorge J. E. Gracia - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (4):305-318.

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References found in this work

The Analytic and the Synthetic.Hilary Putnam - 1962 - Critica 1 (2):109-113.
Soft laws.Terence Horgan & John Tienson - 1990 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 15 (1):256-279.
Normative and natural laws.Stephen Mumford - 2000 - Philosophy 75 (2):265-282.
Family Resemblance Predicates.Keith Campbell - 1965 - American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (3):238 - 244.
Three concepts of clusters.Kathryn Pyne Parsons - 1973 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 33 (4):514-523.

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