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The Normative Animal?On the Anthropological Significance of Social, Moral, and Linguistic Norms$
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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

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Normative Guidance, Deontic Statuses, and the Normative Animal Thesis

Normative Guidance, Deontic Statuses, and the Normative Animal Thesis

(p.321) 16 Normative Guidance, Deontic Statuses, and the Normative Animal Thesis
The Normative Animal?

Neil Roughley

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines the evidence for the normative animal thesis gathered in the contributions to this volume and pinpoints the issues that would have to be resolved in order for the thesis to be clearly true. It begins by approaching the question via the phenomena of social norms, which uncontroversially exist and pervasively structure human practice. The decisive question then concerns the extent to which key features of the deontic orientation at work among agents subject to these norms are also at work in moral and linguistic practice. The two key features identified in the chapter are that of normative action guidance and the assignment of deontic statuses, in particular of obligations and rights. It is argued that there are prospects for a sufficiently broad conception of these two features to allow for a generic conceptualisation of “normativity” or deonticity that is in play in all three areas.

Keywords:   normative animal thesis, social norm, normative action guidance, deontic status, obligation, right, accountability, reactive attitude, moral norm, linguistic norm

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