In the middle of the last century, it was common to explain the notion of necessity in linguistic terms. A necessary truth, it was said, is a sentence whose truth is guaranteed by linguistic rules. Quine famously argued that, on this view, de re modal claims do not make sense. “Porcupettes are porcupines” is necessarily true, but it would be a mistake to say of a particular porcupette that it is necessarily a porcupine, or that it is possibly purple. Linguistic (...) theories of necessity fell out of favour with the publication of Kripke’s Naming and Necessity, and Quine’s arguments were put aside. In her recent book, Norms and Necessity, Amie Thomasson presents her modal normativism, which is an updated version of the mid-century theories just described. Quine’s arguments are thus relevant once again. We recapitulate Quine’s central argument, in the context of modal normativism. We then criticise Amie Thomasson’s discussion of de re modality. We finish by briefly presenting an alternative account of de re modal statements, which is compatible with modal normativism. (shrink)
“Intentional content,” as I understand it, is whatever serves as the object of “propositional” attitude verbs, such as “think,” “judge,” “represent,” “prefer” (whether or not these objects are “propositions”). These verbs are standardly used to pick out the intentional states invoked to explain the states and behavior of people and many animals. I shall take the “normativity of the intentional,” or “Normativism,” to be the claim that any adequate theory of intentional states involves considerations of value not essentially involved (...) in the natural sciences. Thus, according to Normativism, whether or not someone thinks that fish sleep, or even can represent fish at all, depends upon making a judgment about the person’s goodness or rationality, of a sort that would not be involved in merely determining whether or not fish in fact sleep. (shrink)
I argue that recent attempts to show that meaning and content are not normative fail. The two most important arguments anti-normativists have presented are what I call the ‘argument from constitution’ and the ‘argument from guidance’. Both of these arguments suffer from the same basic problem: they overlook the possibility of focusing on assessability by norms, rather than compliance with norms or guidance by norms. Moreover, I argue that the anti-normativists arguments fail even if we ignore this basic problem. Thus, (...) we have not been given good reasons to think that normativism is false. (shrink)
Normativity is one of the keywords of contemporary philosophical discussions (which partly reincarnate traditional debates about the differences between Geisteswissenschaften and Naturwissenschaften ). But are the philosophers who argue for the irreducible role of normativity within accounts for human societies obliged to assume, as Stephen Turner has recently put it, the existence of a "nonâ€natural, nonâ€empirical stuff that is claimed to be necessarily, intrinsically there and to in some sense account for the actual"?
The paper argues that applications of the principle that “ought” implies “can” (OIC) depend on normative considerations even if the link between “ought” and “can” is logical in nature. Thus, we should reject a common, “factualist” conception of OIC and endorse weak “normativism”. Even if we use OIC as the rule ““cannot” therefore “not ought””, applying OIC is not a mere matter of facts and logic, as factualists claim, but often draws on “proto-ideals” of moral agency.
The separability thesis claims that the concept of law can be explicated independently of morality, the normativity thesis, that it can be explicated independently of fact. Continental normativism, prominent above all in the work of Hans Kelsen, may be characterized in terms of the coupling of these theses. Like Kelsen, H. L. A. Hart is a proponent of the separability thesis. And–a leitmotiv–both theorists reject reductive legal positivism. They do not, however, reject it for the same reasons. Kelsen's reason, (...) in a word, is the normativity thesis. Hart, however, grounds his theory in social fact. In place of the reductive thesis of the legal positivist tradition, and in sharp contrast to Kelsen's normativity thesis, Hart defends a non‐reductive version of what the author terms the facticity thesis. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: I explain and rebut four objections to the claim that attributions of intentional attitudes are normative judgments, all stemming, directly or indirectly, from the widespread assumption that the normative supervenes on the non-normative.
The aim of this chapter is to defend the claim that “the intentional is normative” against a number of objections, including those that Georges Rey has presented in his contribution to this volume. First, I give a quick sketch of the principal argument that I have used to support this claim, and briefly comment on Rey’s criticisms of this argument. Next, I try to answer the main objections that have been raised against this claim. First, it may seem that the (...) claim that “the intentional is normative” is just hopelessly Panglossian: doesn’t this claim just wilfully ignore all the mountains of evidence that we have for the sheer ubiquity and pervasiveness of human irrationality? Secondly, the claim that intentional mental states are essentially normative seems to be intended as a purely philosophical, non-empirical account of the nature of these mental states: but why should we think that purely philosophical reflection can tell us anything interesting about the nature of the mind -- shouldn’t we look to empirical psychology to enlighten us about such matters? I argue that neither of these objections succeeds in undermining my version of the claim that "the intentional is normative". (shrink)
Elqayam & Evans (E&E) argue that evaluative normativism leads to unacceptable research biases, and should be avoided. Though it is stipulated that the particular biases they discuss are cause for concern, this argument should not be generalized. The boundary between evaluative and goal-directed norms is difficult to define, and normative assumptions are an integral part of academic progress; moreover, the biases that result may have beneficial potential.
This paper contests the standard reading, due to Bilgrami and Glüer, that Davidson is an anti-normativist about word-meaning. Their case for his anti-normativism rests on his avowed anti-conventionalism about word-meaning. While not denying Davidson’s anti-conventionalism, I argue in the central part of the paper devoted to Bilgrami that the constitutive role that charity must play in interpretation for Davidson puts pressure on his anti-conventionalism, ultimately forcing a more tempered anti-conventionalism than Bilgrami allows. Simply put, my argument is that two (...) central doctrines of Davidson’s—constitutive charity and anti-conventionalism—do not sit easily together in the project of interpreting speakers of our home language and that if they are to be made compatible, it is his anti-conventionalism that gets weakened. This ushers a certain meaning normativism into Davidson’s view. To strengthen my case for reading Davidson as a normativist about word-meaning, I respond to two important arguments against his alleged normativism: first, that meaning normativity is incompatible with the truism that the relation between a word and its meaning is arbitrary and, second, that constitutive charity far from ushering in meaning normativity is incompatible with it. (shrink)
The renewed interest on political realism can offer a new reading of the traditional dichotomy between normative and realist conception of constitutionalism. The purpose of this article is to analyse this renewed discussion, especially by focusing on the relationship between “political realism” and “political constitutionalism,” in the light of some theorists and authors—such as Richard Bellamy and Jeremy Waldron. After a brief introduction in which political realism will be discussed, especially through Bernard Williams’ reinterpretation, the article proposes a rereading of (...) democratic constitutionalism from the classical dichotomy between normativism and realism in political theory. The focus will be set on three key issues: 1. Richard Bellamy’s constitutional theory in a realist perspective; 2. An insight of legal constitutionalism under a normative banner; 3. A brief conclusion in which the risks of a majoritarian and populist constitutionalism will be discussed. (shrink)
Much of contemporary British legal theory has its roots in the tradition of philosophical empiricism—the philosophical position that no theory or opinion can be accepted as valid unless verified by the test of experience. In this context normativity, both in law and morals, is understood and explained in terms of social practices observable in the world. The nineteenth-century jurist John Austin, for example, defined law in terms of a command supported by a sanction and as presupposing the habitual obedience of (...) the bulk of a community to the commands of a sovereign himself not habitually obedient to anyone else. Similarly, Hart's conception of legal obligation, although somewhat more complex, derived from the observation of people's actual practices analyzed in terms of "the internal point of view" crucial to their comprehension of and participation to these practices. It is within this framework that we must consider the distinction between is and ought as used by British positivist theories and which is so essential to positivist jurisprudence. In this respect a chief difference between the British and the Continental traditions in legal theory prevails. This paper aims to re-examine some main themes of contemporary jurisprudence and explore the extent to which contemporary theorists, both British and Continental, have succeeded in developing a theory of law that would create a workable marriage between the two traditions. (shrink)
Hans Kelsen's Pure Theory of Law is the most prominent example of legal normativism. This text traces its origins and its genesis. In philosophy, normativism started with Hume's distinction between Is- and Ought-propositions. Kant distinguished practical from theoretical judgments, while resting even the latter on normativity. Following him, Lotze and the Baden neo-Kantians instrumentalized normativism to secure a sphere of knowledge which is not subject to the natural sciences. Even in his first major text, Kelsen claims that (...) law is solely a matter of Ought or normativity. In the second phase of his writings, he places himself into the neo-Kantian tradition, holding legal norms to be Ought-judgments of legal science. In the third phase, he advocates a barely coherent naive normative realism. In the fourth phase, he supplements the realist view with a strict will-theory of norms, coupled with set-pieces from linguistic philosophy; classical normativism is more or less dismantled. (shrink)
I expand modal normativism, a theory of metaphysical modality, to give a normativist account of metaphysical explanation. According to modal normativism, basic modal claims do not have a descriptive function, but instead have the normative function of enabling language users to express semantic rules that govern the use of ordinary non-modal vocabulary. However, a worry for modal normativism is that it doesn’t keep up with all of the important and interesting metaphysics we can do by giving and (...) evaluating metaphysical explanations. So, I advance modal normativism by arguing that metaphysical explanations also have a normative rather than descriptive function. In particular, non-causal explanatory claims have formal and semantic properties that make them expressively stricter than basic modal claims and so are better suited to express fine-grained aspects of semantic rules. A major payoff of my normativist account of metaphysical explanations is that it yields a plausible story about how we come to evaluate and know metaphysical explanations—we do this primarily by conceptual analysis. I also respond to a number of objections, including the objection that the epistemic payoffs of my view are not worth the metaphysical costs. (shrink)
In considering the debate about the meaning of ‘disease’, the positions are generally presented as falling into two categories: naturalist, e.g., Boorse, and normativist, e.g., Engelhardt and many others. This division is too coarse, and obscures much of what is going on in this debate. I therefore propose that accounts of the meaning of ‘disease’ be assessed according to Hare’s (1997) taxonomy of evaluative terms. Such an analysis will allow us to better understand both individual positions and their inter-relationships. Most (...) importantly, it will show that it is unlikely that there is a single unique disease-concept at issue. Rather, different authors are, for the most part, considering different concepts. (shrink)
Using normative correctness as a diagnostic tool reduces the outcome of complex cognitive functions to a binary classification (normative or non-normative). It also focuses attention on outcomes, rather than processes, impeding the development of good cognitive theories. Given that both normative and non-normative responses may be produced by the same process, normativity is a poor indicator of underlying processes.
According to doxastic normativism, part of what makes an attitude a belief rather than another type of attitude is that it is governed by a truth-norm. It has been objected that this view fails since there are true propositions such that if you believed them they would not be true, and thus the obligation to believe true propositions cannot hold for these. I argue that the solution for doxastic normativists is to find a norm that draws the right distinction (...) between those true propositions we are obliged to believe (“ordinary non-tricky propositions”) and those we are not (“tricky propositions”). I develop a norm which I argue does exactly this, and further argue that it can be used to salvage the idea that belief is constitutively normative. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is two?fold. I start by contrasting three versions of externalist arguments based on etiological considerations, whose differences are not often appreciated. My purpose in doing so is to isolate one of these versions of externalism as most supportive of current anti?individualist attitudes toward the mental. My second aim is to show that this version, which I call (for reasons soon to be clear) Dialectal Etiology , is marred to a greater extent than the other two (...) by an important problem of language individuation.ii.. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on a question about one role: the explanatory role of normativism or normativity in relation to ordinary 'scientific', meaning social scientific, explanations of actions and beliefs, especially the empirical, observable, or empirically relevant aspects of human conduct. Call this the epistemic form of the naturalistic moment problem. It call this a 'naturalistic moment', a place where normativism makes factual assertions about real processes in the natural world. This pseudo argument boils down to a series of (...) equivocations. The normativist must claim that there is some super-added normative element that cannot be accounted for naturalistically or by social science. Transcendental arguments to the effect that they have to have such and such mental content are likely to fail the mosquito test. The default position of rationalistic normativists, well encapsulated by Korsgaard, who rejects it, is that normativity in particular, rightness is an objective property grasped by reason. (shrink)
In response to criticism of empirical or “positive” approaches to corporate social responsibility, we defend the importance of these approaches for any CSR theory that seeks to have practical impact. Although we acknowledge limitations to positive approaches, we unpack the neglected but crucial relationships between positive knowledge on the one hand and normative knowledge on the other in the implementation of CSR principles. Using the structure of a practical syllogism, we construct a model that displays the key role of empirical (...) knowledge in fulfilling a firm’s responsibility to society, paying special attention to the implications of the “ought implies can” dictum. We also defend the importance of one particular class of empirical claims; namely, claims from the field of economics. Even positive economic theory, which is often criticized for endorsing profits rather than values, can cooperate in intriguing ways with non-economic concepts in the implementation of CSR goals. (shrink)
Full aptness is the most important concept in performance-based virtue epistemology. The structure of full aptness, in epistemology and elsewhere, is bi-levelled. At the first level, we evaluate beliefs, like performances, on the basis of whether they are successful, competent, and apt – viz., successful because competent. But the fact that aptness itself can be fragile – as it is when an apt performance could easily have been inapt – points to a higher zone of quality beyond mere aptness. To (...) break in to this zone, one must not merely perform aptly but also in doing so safeguard in skilled ways against certain risks to inaptness. But how must this be done, exactly? This paper has two central aims. First, I challenge the credentials of mainstream thinking about full-aptness by raising some new and serious problems for the view. I then propose a novel account of full aptness – what I call de minimis normativism – which keeps all the advantages of the canonical view, avoids its problems entirely, and offers some additional payoffs. (shrink)
According to the normativist, it is built into the nature of belief itself that beliefs are subject to a certain set of norms. I argue here that only a normativist account can explain certain non-normative facts about what it takes to have the capacity for belief. But this way of defending normativism places an explanatory burden on any normativist account that an account on which a truth norm is explanatorily fundamental simply cannot discharge. I develop an alternative account that (...) can achieve explanatory adequacy where this sort of truth privileging account falls short. (shrink)
Se desarrolla la concepción normativista de la autoconciencia hegeliana, de acuerdo con los aportes de los denominados "neohegelianos de Pittsburgh", así como de otros autores anglosajones como Robert Pippin, Terry Pinkard y Paul Redding. Se presenta el recorrido de la autoconciencia en el capítulo IV de la Fenomenología del Espíritu, y se desarrollan algunos rasgos que pueden extraerse de dicha presentación, de acuerdo con la lectura normativista de los autores mencionados. The normativist conception of Hegelian self-consciousness according to the contributions (...) of the so-called "Pittsburgh neo-Hegelians" is developed along with the contributions of other English-speaking scholars such as Robert Pippin, Terry Pinkard and Paul Redding. An overview is given of self-consciousness as laid out in chapter IV of the Phenomenology of Spirit, and some of the features that can be extracted from this overview are developed according to a normativist reading of the authors mentioned. (shrink)
Counterpossibles are counterfactuals that involve some metaphysical impossibility. Modal normativism is a non-descriptivist account of metaphysical necessity and possibility according to which modal claims, e.g. ‘necessarily, all bachelors are unmarried’, do not function as descriptive claims about the modal nature of reality but function as normative illustrations of constitutive rules and permissions that govern the use of ordinary non-modal vocabulary, e.g. ‘bachelor’. In this paper, I assume modal normativism and develop a novel account of counterpossibles and claims about (...) metaphysical similarity between possible and impossible worlds. I argue that considerations of metaphysical similarity between various impossible worlds and the actual world only require us to tacitly consider how the actual constitutive rules that govern the use of our terms change in order to accommodate the description of some hypothetical impossible scenario. I then argue for my account by raising worries for alternative epistemic and realist accounts of counterpossibles and showing how my account avoids those worries. (shrink)
Abstract. This paper discusses Kelsen's attempt at reducing the concept of subjektives Recht (what is subjectively right) to that of objektives Recht (what is objectively right). This attempt fails, it is argued, because in Kelsen's theory the concept of subjektives Recht survives concealed within the concept of individual norm (individuelle Norm), a norm that, pace Kelsen, is not a case of what is objectively right (objektives Recht) but is precisely what is subjectively right (subjektives Recht): We could call it "what (...) is individually right.". (shrink)
Though we are in broad agreement with much of Elqayam & Evans' (E&E's) position, we criticize two aspects of their argument. First, rejecting normativism is unlikely to yield the benefits that E&E seek. Second, their conception of rational norms is overly restrictive and, as a consequence, their arguments at most challenge a relatively restrictive version of normativism.
Elqayam & Evans (E&E) argue against prescriptive normativism and in favor of descriptivism. I challenge the assumption, implicit in their article, that there is a choice to be made between the two approaches. While descriptivism may be the right approach for some questions, others call for a normativist approach. To illustrate the point, I briefly discuss two questions of the latter sort.
The paper discusses alternatives of philosophical approach to addiction. While not denying the central position of problems of will or craving, it focuses on the broader anthropological context of addiction, using Heidegger’s existential analyses. It appears that addiction – in some cases, because an essentialist exposition is not viable here – is characterized by a defective pattern of the agent’s choice among possibilities and of temporality. The anecdotic observations can be synthesized into a treatise of addiction as a normative disorder: (...) a systematic inability of the addict to function within usual normative practices of various social contexts. The relevance of this perspective is testified also by therapeutic practice: addicts are treated not exclusively with respect to problems concerning will, but as persons who have to be re-socialized, i.e. led to a responsible attitude both towards themselves and society. (shrink)
The so-called epistemological turn of the Descartes-Locke-Kant tradition is a hallmark of modern philosophy. The broad family of normativism constitutes one major response to the Cartesian heritage building upon some version of the idea that human knowledge, action and sociality build fundamentally upon some form of social agreement and standards. Representationalism and the Cartesian picture more generally have been challenged by normativists but this paper argues that, even where these challenges by normativism have been taken to heart, our (...) intellectual culture remains fundamentally epistemic in certain problematic senses. Two problems are highlighted: first, normativism remains functionally Cartesian, for human action and sociality appear as processes driven by the shared understandings by competent contributors, and second, normativism is unable to account for forms of human action and sociality other than those occurring in the relatively small worlds of normatively regulated conceptual spaces of mutual access and listening. These points are illustrated by an applied discussion of the blind spots of normativist accounts of the emerging environmental and the on-going economic crises. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions of health and disease have traditionally been dominated by a debate between normativists, who hold that health is an inescapably value-laded concept and naturalists, such as Christopher Boorse, who believe that it is possible to derive a purely descriptive or theoretical definition of health based upon biological function. In this paper I defend a distinctive view which traces its origins in Aristotle's naturalistic ethics. An Arisotelian would agree with Boorse that health and disease are ubiquitous features of the (...) natural world and thus not mere projections of human interests and values. She would differ from him in rejecting the idea that value is a non-natural quality. I conclude my discussion with some comments of the normative character of living systems. (shrink)
Worries about the potential medicalization of social and moral problems has propelled the debate on the nature of mental disorder, with normativists insisting that psychiatric classification is inherently value-laden and naturalists maintaining that a purely descriptive account of disease is possible. In recent work, some authors take a different path, accepting that the concepts of disease and mental disorder are value-laden but maintaining that this does not prevent objective truths regarding mental disorder attribution. This paper explores two such accounts and (...) the important steps they provide toward rethinking the nature and metaphysical status of mental disorder. The challenges raised in this paper are meant to contribute to the further development of this stimulating work. (shrink)
We propose a critique of normativism, deﬁned as the idea that human thinking reﬂects a normative system against which it should be measured and judged. We analyze the methodological problems associated with normativism, proposing that it invites the controversial “is-ought” inference, much contested in the philosophical literature. This problem is triggered when there are competing normative accounts (the arbitration problem), as empirical evidence can help arbitrate between descriptive theories, but not between normative systems. Drawing on linguistics as a (...) model, we propose that a clear distinction between normative systems and competence theories is essential, arguing that equating them invites an “is-ought” inference: to wit, supporting normative “ought” theories with empirical “is” evidence. We analyze in detail two research programmes with normativist features – Oaksford and Chater’s rational analysis and Stanovich and West’s individual differences approach – demonstrating how, in each case, equating norm and competence leads to an is-ought inference. Normativism triggers a host of research biases in the psychology of reasoning and decision making: focusing on untrained participants and novel problems, analyzing psychological processes in terms of their normative correlates, and neglecting philosophically signiﬁcant paradigms when they do not supply clear standards for normative judgement. For example, in a dual-process framework, normativism can lead to a fallacious “ought-is” inference, in which normative responses are taken as diagnostic of analytic reasoning. We propose that little can be gained from normativism that cannot be achieved by descriptivist computational-level analysis, illustrating our position with Hypothetical Thinking Theory and the theory of the suppositional conditional. We conclude that descriptivism is a viable option, and that theories of higher mental processing would be better off freed from normative considerations. (shrink)
In this article, it is argued that Sellars’ view of normativity is the key for a proper resolution of the debate between normativism and anti-normativism, as the latter is described in Turner’s recent book Explaining the Normative. Drawing on an early Sellarsian article , I suggest that both normativism and anti-normativism are ultimately unsatisfactory positions and for the same reason: due to their failure to draw a distinction between causal or explanatory reducibility and logical or conceptual (...) reducibility of the normative to the non-normative. (shrink)
What do we owe each other when we act together? According to normativists about collective action, necessarily something and potentially quite a bit. They contend that collective action inherently involves a special normative status amongst participants, which may, for example, involve mutual obligations to receive the concurrence of the others before leaving. We build on recent empirical work whose results lend plausibility to a normativist account by further investigating the specific package of mutual obligations associated with collective action according to (...) our everyday understanding. However, our results cast doubt on a proposed obligation to seek the permission of co-actors before exiting a collective action, and suggest instead that this obligation is a function of explicit promising. We then discuss how our results pave the path for a new normativism, a theory that neither under- nor overshoots the target given by our common conception of the interpersonal obligations present in collective action.*. (shrink)
Understanding cognitive processes with a formal framework necessitates some limited, internal prescriptive normativism. This is because it is not possible to endorse the psychological relevance of some axioms in a formal framework, but reject that of others. The empirical challenge then becomes identifying the remit of different formal frameworks, an objective consistent with the descriptivism Elqayam & Evans (E&E) advocate.
Elqayam & Evans' (E&E's) critique of normativism is related to an inherently philosophical question: Is thinking a normative affair? Should thinking be held accountable towards certain norms? I present the historical and philosophical origins of the view that thinking belongs to the realm of normativity and has a tight connection with logic, stressing the pivotal role of Kant in these developments.
ABSTRACT Anti-normativists have advanced the view that the involvement of content in norms is not an essential feature of content, but a contingent feature or side effect of the normativity governing attitudes. In this paper, we argue that, in its original formulation, this view puts too much weight on the idea that belief is the fundamental, and perhaps the only, source of content-involving normativity. In its more refined formulation, however, the view does not make justice to a neutral and encompassing (...) characterization of what it is for content to be essentially normative. (shrink)
There are two general views that social ontologists currently defend concerning the nature of joint intentional action. According to ‘non-normativists’, for a joint action to be established, we need to align certain psychological states in certain ways. ‘Normativists’ argue that joint action essentially involves normative relations that cannot be reduced to the intentional states of individuals. In two ground-breaking publications, Javier Gomez-Lavin and Matthew Rachar empirically investigate the relation between normativity and joint action in several survey studies. They argue that (...) people's intuitions support neither current normativists nor current non-normativists. They suggest that there is a need for a ‘new normativism of joint action’. I first explore what a new normativism could amount to and conclude that the authors’ findings cannot support a demand for such a view. Finally, I suggest some ideas about how to move the field forward. (shrink)
We propose a critique ofnormativism, defined as the idea that human thinking reflects a normative system against which it should be measured and judged. We analyze the methodological problems associated with normativism, proposing that it invites the controversial “is-ought” inference, much contested in the philosophical literature. This problem is triggered when there are competing normative accounts, as empirical evidence can help arbitrate between descriptive theories, but not between normative systems. Drawing on linguistics as a model, we propose that a (...) clear distinction between normative systems and competence theories is essential, arguing that equating them invites an “is-ought” inference: to wit, supporting normative “ought” theories with empirical “is” evidence. We analyze in detail two research programmes with normativist features – Oaksford and Chater's rational analysis and Stanovich and West's individual differences approach – demonstrating how, in each case, equating norm and competence leads to an is-ought inference. Normativism triggers a host of research biases in the psychology of reasoning and decision making: focusing on untrained participants and novel problems, analyzing psychological processes in terms of their normative correlates, and neglecting philosophically significant paradigms when they do not supply clear standards for normative judgement. For example, in a dual-process framework, normativism can lead to a fallacious “ought-is” inference, in which normative responses are taken as diagnostic of analytic reasoning. We propose that little can be gained from normativism that cannot be achieved by descriptivist computational-level analysis, illustrating our position with Hypothetical Thinking Theory and the theory of the suppositional conditional. We conclude that descriptivism is a viable option, and that theories of higher mental processing would be better off freed from normative considerations. (shrink)
This paper sketches a particular line of criticism targeted at Scanlon’s account of a normative reason, which is purported to kill two birds with one stone: to raise doubts about the plausibility of Scanlon’s account of a normative reason and, next, to dismiss Scanlon’s conception of what a normative reason is in the role of an argument for semantic normativism. Following Whiting I take semantic normativism to be the view, according to which linguistic meaning is intrinsically normative. The (...) key argument for semantic normativism is that a word or expression has conditions for its correct use which count, or speak in favour of using it in certain ways and not in others. Specifically, it has immediate implications for how a subject should or may employ that expression. I shall argue that if the favouring format of analysis of a normative reason is not a particularly happy proposal in itself, then it supplies a superficial support for semantic normativism. (shrink)
David Papineau [1999. “Normativity and Judgement.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 73 : 16–43.] argues that norms of judgement pose no special problem for naturalism, because all such norms of judgement are derived from moral or personal values. Papineau claims that this account of the normativity of judgement presupposes an account of content that places normativity outside the analysis of content, because in his view any accounts of content that place normativity inside the analysis of content cannot explain the normativity (...) of judgement in the derivative way he proposes. Furthermore, he argues that normative accounts of content along those lines are independently problematic. In this paper I aim to respond to both objections, by arguing that normative accounts of content can be seen as naturalist accounts, even if they place normativity inside the analysis of content; and that normative accounts of content are compatible with a derivative account of norms of judgement of the sort Papi... (shrink)