Normativity and thoughtfulness: A footnote to socrates

This paper argues that we ought to conceive of normativity as a matter of the exercise of fallible abilities that make a fragile pact with the future. To conceive normativity in this fashion we also need to change our image and practice of thinking, i.e., we need to endorse thoughtfulness, which consists in the ability and willingness to widen the scope (or, sometimes, change) that which we find insightful. This approach to normativity, and this image and practice of thinking, is at odds with the dominant contemporary approach to normativity, which, it is argued here, is characterised by an attempt to play god, i.e., to create and play in artificial, fantasy worlds where we can know and master all there is to know, such that we can read off, or determine in advance, the appropriateness or correctness of future actions (or events, beliefs, etc). As long as we continue to play gods in our approach to normativity, we will continue to hide away from our limitations, including, most importantly, our fallibility, animality and mortality. When we hide away from our limitations in this way we radically underestimate the demands of moral and political life.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,164
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
12 ( #612,954 of 2,237,389 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #483,851 of 2,237,389 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature