Reflective Situated Normativity

Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3371-3389 (2021)
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Situated normativity is the ability of skilled individuals to distinguish better from worse, adequate from inadequate, appropriate from inappropriate, or correct from incorrect in the context of a particular situation. Situated normativity consists in a situated appreciation expressed in normative behaviour, and can be experienced as a bodily affective tension that motivates a skilled individual to act on particular possibilities for action offered by a concrete situation. The concept of situated normativity has so far primarily been discussed in the context of skilled unreflective action. In this paper, we aim to explore and sketch the role of the concept of situated normativity in characterising more reflective forms of normativity. The goal of the paper is two-fold: first, by showing more reflective forms of normativity to be continuous with unreflective situated normativity, we bring these reflective forms into the reach of embodied accounts of cognition; and second, by extending the concept of situated normativity, new light is thrown on questions regarding reflective forms of cognition. We show that sociomaterial aspects of situations are crucial for understanding more reflective forms of normativity. We also shed light on the important question of how explicit rules can compel people to behave in particular ways.



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