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The Nature of Normativity$
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Ralph Wedgwood

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251315

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251315.001.0001

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Thinking About What Ought To Be

Thinking About What Ought To Be

(p.17) 1 Thinking About What Ought To Be
The Nature of Normativity

Ralph Wedgwood (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the broadly semantical issues that are the focus of Part I of the book: how are we to give an account of the meaning of normative statements, and of the nature of the mental states (‘normative judgments’) that such statements express? Sections 1.1 and 1.2 clarify the sort of (non-circular but not necessarily reductive) account that is needed. Then the remaining sections argue that normative judgments have a very special feature: they have an essential or ‘internalist’ connection to motivation and practical reasoning. Any adequate account of the meaning of normative statement and of the nature of normative judgments must somehow explain why this sort of internalism is true.

Keywords:   semantics, meaning, normative judgments, non-circular account, internalism, motivation, practical reasoning

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