Normativity and objectivity

the semantic nature of objects and the potentiality of nature

Roberto Gronda

In this paper, I address the question of the nature and ground of objectivity, with the aim to develop a pragmatist account of its distinctive features. Traditionally, pragmatism has been considered as an alternative to Kantian approaches. The aim of the paper is to argue that, contrary to the received view, a consistent pragmatist theory of objectivity should preserve many insights of Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy. My thesis is that Kantian notions of spontaneity, activity and objectivity can be fruitfully reformulated and translated into pragmatist terms. The key notion here is that of practices. It is only within the context of a practice that concepts can be successfully applied to experience. The intrinsic normativity of practices establishes different levels of objectivity. The paper defends a pluralistic view of reality, insisting on the irreducibility of common-sense objectivity to scientific objectivity. At the same time, it is maintained that common-sense practices have a primacy over scientific practices, and that scientific objects are constructed out of common-sense objects through a process of articulation of the potentialities of the latter.

Publication details

DOI: 10.4000/ejpap.375

Full citation:

Gronda, R. (2015). Normativity and objectivity: the semantic nature of objects and the potentiality of nature. European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 7 (1), pp. n/a.

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