Speaking about the normativity of meaning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Contemporary debate on the nature of meaning centres on whether meaning is normative. Agreement is widespread that meaning implies correctness, but disagreement on whether correctness is normative remains. Normativists argue that correctness implies obligations or permissions. Antinormativists disagree and hold that correctness is a descriptive term. This paper argues that, fundamentally, meaning presupposes norms, but not in the generic normativist sense: a vocabulary is recognisable as part of a language if and only if it is part of a practice of committing and entitling to ask for and provide reasons for what is said. To commit and entitle is not obliged or permitted. It is a presupposition for speaking about obligations and


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy


  • Normativity, Meaning, Brandom, Sellars
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-77
JournalSATS Northern European Journal of Philosophy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep
Publication categoryResearch

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Björn Petersson, Olle Blomberg, Gunnar Björnsson, Johan Brännmark, Åsa Burman, Tobias Hansson Wahlberg, Patrizio Lo Presti, Anna-Sofia Maurin, Jeroen Smid & Andras Szigeti

Swedish Research Council

2012/03/01 → …

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