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Nature and Normativity: Biology, Teleology, and Meaning

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2018.04.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Mark Okrent, Nature and Normativity: Biology, Teleology, and Meaning, Routledge, 2018, 237pp., $140.00, ISBN 9781138244665. Reviewed by Justin Garson, Hunter College, The City University of New York The purpose of Okrent's book is to pose and answer two questions: what is a norm (an ought, a should, a supposed to)? And how can there be creatures that are responsive to norms? That is, how can there be creatures that act as they do because that's what they're supposed to do? Okrent's thesis, as indicated by the title, is that norms are rooted in biology; specifically, they're grounded in the organism's need to perpetuate its own existence. Once we understand how norms are grounded in biology, we can understand normative aspects of social roles, tools, and language. If this project sounds vaguely familiar, it should. Philosophers have been laboring for decades to give a naturalistic account of... . . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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