Thoughts and oughts
Abbreviated Journal Title
normativity; mental content; meaning; naturalism; intersubjectivity; objectivity; rationality; mental causation; EVOLUTION; MIND; LANGUAGE; Philosophy
Many now accept the thesis that norms are somehow constitutively involved in people's contentful intentional states. I distinguish three versions of this normative thesis that disagree about the type of norms constitutively involved. Are they objective norms of correctness, subjective norms of rationality, or intersubjective norms of social practices? I show the advantages of the third version, arguing that it improves upon the other two versions, as well as incorporating their principal insights. I then defend it against two serious challenges: (1) If content is constituted by others' normative judgments, how can content be causally efficacious? (2) This account appears to make having contentful thoughts a matter of people having contentful thoughts about your thoughts. That appears to be viciously circular and so can't be naturalistic.
"Thoughts and oughts" (2008). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 177.