Volume 40, Issue 1, January 2014
The Normative Creature
Toward a Practice-Based Account of Normativity
In this paper I offer a first account of a practice-based conception of normativity for the political domain. This standpoint is used to relocate the most sophisticated normative practices of justification and critique within an experience-based framework, that of the human being as a “normative creature.” I begin by discussing the two major paradigms in political theory, showing that their neglect of this broad framework of normativity is a serious drawback. I then proceed to articulate the central elements of a practicebased account of normativity: the notions of normative practices and normative orders, and an account of the rationality potential of normativity as practice.