The Nature of Normativity

Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press (2007)
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Abstract

This is a book about normativity -- where the central normative terms are words like 'ought' and 'should' and their equivalents in other languages. It has three parts: The first part is about the semantics of normative discourse: what it means to talk about what ought to be the case. The second part is about the metaphysics of normative properties and relations: what is the nature of those properties and relations whose pattern of instantiation makes propositions about what ought to be the case true. The third part is about the epistemology of normative beliefs: how we could ever know, or even have rational or justified belief in, propositions about what ought to be the case

Chapters

The Metaphysical Issues

This chapter explains the metaphysical concepts that will be used in Part II of the book: the concepts of a ‘constitutive account’ of a property, of essence and metaphysical necessity, and of supervenience and realization.

The Status of Normative Intuitions

Part III of the book is devoted to epistemological issues. If there are objective normative truths, then how could we ever know them? How could we even have any rational or justified beliefs in normative propositions? This chapter argues that the idea that the ‘intentional is normative’ su... see more

Conclusion

This concluding chapter gives a final overview of the whole theory that has been outlined in the previous chapters, by outlining the theory's implications for various other branches of philosophy. Specifically, it outlines the theory's implications for the following four branches of philos... see more

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Author's Profile

Ralph Wedgwood
University of Southern California

Citations of this work

Grounding, Essence, And Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):642-670.
The Ethics of Conceptualization: A Needs-Based Approach.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence.Jonas Olson - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ought, Agents, and Actions.Mark Schroeder - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (1):1-41.
Peer disagreement and higher order evidence.Thomas Kelly - 2010 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press. pp. 183--217.

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