Explaining normativity

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (1):57-73 (2007)
In this reply, I raise some questions about the account of "normativity" given by Joseph Rouse. I discuss the historical form of disputes over normativity in such thinkers as Kelsen and show that the standard issue with these accounts is over the question of whether there is anything added to the normal stream of explanation by the problem of normativity. I suggest that Rouse’s attempt to avoid the issues that arise with substantive explanatory theories of practices of the kind criticized in The Social Theory of Practices leads to a result that is uninformative, and the strategy raises the question of whether there is anything there to explain and thus whether there is any necessity to appeal to the kind of anomalous explanations the normativist offers. Key Words: Kelsen • normativity • Mauss • naturalism • practices.
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DOI 10.1177/0048393106296543
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