Publication Date



This chapter aims to clarify debate over the nature, existence, extension, and analyzability of normativity, by investigating whether different philosophers’ claims are about the same subject or (as argued by Derek Parfit) they are using the terms ‘normative’ and ‘normativity’ with different meanings. While it is suggested that the term may be multiply ambiguous, reasons are identified for optimism about a common subject-matter for metanormative theory. This is supported by sketching a special hybrid view of normative judgment, perspectivism, that occupies a position between cognitivism and noncognitivism, naturalism and nonnaturalism, objectivism and subjectivism. Three main fissures are explored: between (i) the “normativity” of language/thought versus that of facts and properties, (ii) abstract versus substantive normativity, and (iii) formal versus robust normativity.


Dianoia Institute of Philosophy

Document Type

Book Chapter

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.