Volume 50, Issue 1, Spring 2022
Inferentialism on Naturalized Grounds
Norms, Reasons, and Anthropological Naturalism
This article addresses the two most important areas of potential conflict between inferentialism and naturalism, namely normativity and rationality. Concerning the first, it sides with inferentialism, while at the same time developing a normativist position less vulnerable to naturalistic objections. There is nothing problematic or mysterious about semantic normativity or normativity in general. But one needs to distinguish different types of normativity and recognize that statements of norms can be perfectly truth-apt. Concerning the second area of conflict, my verdict is partly naturalistic. It rejects overly intellectualist accounts of the normative practices that underlie meaning and content. The article ends with a plea for an ‘anthropological’ naturalism that eschews both ontological supernaturalism and epistemological naturalism.