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The Normative Animal? – On the Anthropological Significance of Social, Moral, and Linguistic Norms - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Normative Animal?: On the Anthropological Significance of Social, Moral, and Linguistic Norms

Neil Roughley and Kurt Bayertz


Humans, it is often claimed, are rational, linguistic, cultural, or moral creatures. What these characterizations may all have in common is the more fundamental claim that humans are normative animals, in the sense that they are creatures whose lives are structured at a fundamental level by their relationships to norms. The various capacities singled out by talk of rational, linguistic, cultural, or moral animals might then all essentially involve an orientation to obligations, permissions, and prohibitions. And, if this is so, then perhaps it is a basic susceptibility or proclivity to normati ... More

Keywords: normative animal thesis, social norm, linguistic rule, moral principle, standard of correctness, convention, collective intentionality, rule following, particularism, semantic norm

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190846466
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190846466.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Neil Roughley, editor
Chair for Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics, University of Duisburg-Essen

Kurt Bayertz, editor
Senior-Professor of Practical Philosophy, University of Munster

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