Nature, Purpose, and Norm: A Program in American Philosophy

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (4):617-636 (2016)
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ABSTRACT:For over a century there has been a protracted effort in American philosophy to use Darwinian explanatory resources in order to make certain leading ideas in German idealism naturalistically intelligible. I trace some of the nineteenth and twentieth century contours of this effort. In doing so I outline an understanding of ourselves as norm-laden persons in a natural world. As a consequence, philosophical inquiry—understood in C. S. Peirce's sense as the practice of the ‘normative sciences’ of aesthetics, logic, and ethics—can be understood as the self-conscious and rational exercise of natural and socially conditioned capacities to sense, think, and act. This leaves us with a project, by no means completed, to frame categories through which to understand thesociohistorical developmentof the notions of beauty, truth, and goodness as a process continuous with thenatural evolutionof the nervous system in its sensory, central, and motor moments.



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Preston Stovall
University of Hradec Králové

Citations of this work

Belief Attribution as Indirect Communication.Christopher Gauker - 2021 - In Ladislav Koreň, Hans Bernhard Schmid, Preston Stovall & Leo Townsend (eds.), Groups, Norms and Practices: Essays on Inferentialism and Collective Intentionality. Springer Nature Switzerland. pp. 173-187.

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References found in this work

Reason in Philosophy: Animating Ideas.Robert Brandom - 2009 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Mind and World.John Mcdowell - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):99-109.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - In Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37-108.
Ontological Anti-Realism.David Chalmers - 2009 - In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.

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