The Unity of Normativity

In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press. pp. 23-45 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


What is normativity? It is argued here that normativity is best understood as a property of certain concepts: normative thoughts are those involving these normative concepts; normative statements are statements that express normative thoughts; and normative facts are the facts (if such there be) that make such normative thoughts true. Many philosophers propose that there is a single basic normative concept—perhaps the concept of a reason for an action or attitude—in terms of which all other normative concepts can be defined. It is argued here that this proposal faces grave difficulties. According to a better proposal, what these normative concepts have in common is that they have a distinctive sort of conceptual role—a reasoning-guiding conceptual role. This proposal is illustrated by a number of examples: different normative concepts differ from each other in virtue of their having different conceptual roles of this reasoning-guiding kind.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,038

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Conceptual Role Semantics and the Reference of Moral Concepts.Neil Sinclair - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):95-121.
Naturalism and the normativity of epistemology.James Maffie - 1990 - Philosophical Studies 59 (3):333 - 349.
Bootstrapping Normativity.Graham White - 2011 - Philosophy and Technology 24 (1):35-53.
Is there reason to be theoretically rational?Andrew Reisner - 2011 - In Andrew Reisner & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Reasons for Belief. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Normative requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
The normativity of democracy.Roberto Frega - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 18 (3):371-392.


Added to PP

123 (#147,001)

6 months
24 (#116,842)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ralph Wedgwood
University of Southern California

Citations of this work

Dual character concepts.Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 14 (1):e12557.
Bias, norms, introspection, and the bias blind spot1.Thomas Kelly - 2024 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 108 (1):81-105.
Reply to critics.Matti Eklund - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):535-561.
Normative concepts.Matti Eklund - forthcoming - In David Copp & Connie Rosati (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaethics. Oxford University Press.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Being Realistic About Reasons.Thomas Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Nature of Normativity.Ralph Wedgwood - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

View all 22 references / Add more references