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Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen

Against essential normativity of the mental

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  • Department of Philosophy
A number of authors have recently developed and defended various versions of ‘normative essentialism’ about the mental, i.e. the claim that propositional attitudes are constitutively or essentially governed by normative principles. I present two arguments to the effect that this claim cannot be right. First, if propositional attitudes were essentially normative, propositional attitude ascriptions would require non-normative justification, but since this is not a requirement of folk-psychology, propositional attitudes cannot be essentially normative. Second, if propositional attitudes were essentially normative, propositional attitude ascriptions could not support normative rationality judgments, which would remove the central appeal of normative essentialism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume140
Issue2
Pages (from-to)263-283
Number of pages20
ISSN0031-8116
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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