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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 40, 2008

Philosophy of Law

Chueh-an Yen
Pages 185-194

Normative Gap, Subjugation and Recognition

In this paper I will argue that normativity in its pure form is a matter of gap. I will elucidate this idea in three aspects. First, I will suggest that the ‘ought’ is the unique creation of human language to deal with the contingencies and the complexity of the world. And the particular merit of the nature of ‘ought’ or the normativity is not what it positively can offer or do, but what it negatively leaves rooms for, because the ‘ought’ opens up some space for reason or action. Second, every normative system must transform the real human being into its own normative construction of person. I call it the subjugation process. Third, the normativity can show its force more deeply through the escape, resistance and refusal, in another word, through struggle for recognition of the agents. This aspect has certain connection with the critical theory.

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