1st Bonn-Paris-Summer School (Centre des Recherches sur les Nouveaux Réalismes) Realism about Norms?

July 13, 2020 - July 17, 2020
University of Bonn

Conference Room
Poppelsdorfer Allee 28
Bonn 53115

Keynote speakers:

University of Pittsburgh
The New School
Université paris 1

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The core issue of the summer school arises from various traditional and more recent attacks on realism about norms. It seems to be hard to understand how norms can be a genuine part of reality and at the same time guide our thought and action in virtue of being represented by us as thus binding. If subjects are essentially involved in the realization of norms by way of context-sensitive thought and action, how is it possible to conceive of the binding power of the normative as grounded in the way things are? But if normative discourse carries no ontological commitments, how can we so much as bind ourselves to anything that we can at least represent and symbolize as if it had the minimal independence from our voluntaristic whim required for objective purport? 

In light of this and related worries, we will discuss current debates in (meta-)ethics, philosophy of mind, and ontology drawing on the most recent proposals in New Realism which so far has mainly focused on issues in theoretical philosophy: What kinds of norms are there? Can there be objectively existing, yet mind-dependent norms? Is normative discourse genuinely objective despite the fact that it essentially addresses historically situated, human thinkers? Our goal is to arrive at a clearer sense of the normative implications of the return of realist proposals in contemporary European philosophy.

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February 29, 2020, 9:00am CET

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