Deflationary Normative Naturalism
Laura Schroeter (University of Melbourne), Francois Schroeter (University of Melbourne)

July 12, 2016, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
European Philosophy and the History of Ideas Research Group (EPHI), Deakin University

221 Burwood Hwy
Burwood 3125


  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Deakin University


Two core objections have been raised against naturalism about normative properties. According to non-naturalists, (1) normative properties are sui generis and cannot be reduced to causal-explanatory properties posited by the natural sciences, and (2) normative properties are “objective, universal and absolute” (Enoch). We explain how a deflationary form of naturalism can accommodate (1). We then explain how (2) involves implicit commitments about the way normative terms acquire their reference. We propose an independently plausible principle for assigning reference that can vindicate (2) while adhering to deflationary naturalism.

François Schroeter (Dr Habil Fribourg) is a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on issues in moral psychology, metaethics, moral theory and Kantian ethics. Laura Schroeter (PhD Michigan) is currently a lecturer at the University of Melbourne. Previously she was an Austrialian Research Fellow at Melbourne and a postdoctoral fellow at the ANU. She works primarily on the nature of concepts and theories of reference. The two are currently working on a monograph on normative concepts.

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