Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Normative Animal?On the Anthropological Significance of Social, Moral, and Linguistic Norms$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Neil Roughley and Kurt Bayertz

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190846466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190846466.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

Might We Be Essentially Normative Animals?

Might We Be Essentially Normative Animals?

(p.3) 1 Might We Be Essentially Normative Animals?
The Normative Animal?

Neil Roughley

Oxford University Press

This chapter poses the question of whether humans might be essentially normative animals, i.e. whether traditionally prominent specificities of the human life form—our linguistic, social, and moral “natures”—might ground in a basic susceptibility, or proclivity to the deontic regulation of thought and behaviour: the “normative animal thesis.” The chapter lays out the issues at stake in attempting to answer this question. It divides into two main parts. The first begins by clarifying the—norm-related—concept of normativity at issue, distinguishing it from the—reason-related—conceptualisation current in meta-ethics and theories of rationality. It then discusses the primary candidates for generic features of norms, before dividing the normative animal thesis into various sub-claims. The second part presents the key questions at issue in the discussion of social, moral, and linguistic norms, comparing ways of conceiving them and marking the significance of such conceptualisations for the normative animal thesis.

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

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .