Norms and Normativity: Between Regulism and Regularism



In the two preceding chapters we examined two rival accounts of moral criticism — those of Habermas and Derrida, respectively. Each was predicated on a particular conception of what a moral norm is, and of how such norms are related to behavior. I suggested that both accounts can be understood as motivated by the kinds of concerns about the rationality of dissent and criticism that we raised in relation to Rorty’s views in Chapter 1. However, I also argued that both accounts suffer from logical difficulties. In each case, the central problem concerns the relation between norms and practices.


Moral Judgment Moral Reasoning Moral Belief Moral Norm Social Criticism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 5.
    In Carroll’s essay, the statements are: “(A) Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other. (B) The two sides of this Triangle are things that are equal to the same. (Z) The two sides of this Triangle are equal to each other.” Lewis Carroll, “What the Tortoise said to Achilles,” Mind 4, no. 14 (April 1895), 278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 11.
    See Saul Kripke, Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    See Crispin Wright, Wittgenstein on the Foundations of Mathematics (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  4. 18.
    Glendinning, 101. See G.P. Baker and P.M.S. Hacker, An Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations: Rules, Grammar and Necessity, vol. II (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985), 104–106.Google Scholar
  5. 31.
    See, e.g., Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, I: §84–87. Cf. Cora Diamond, The Realistic Spirit: Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind(Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1991), 68, and Stone, “Wittgenstein on Deconstruction,” 106–7. Derrida’s claim that the use to which a sign is, as a matter of fact, put is only one “interpretation” within “a ‘total’ system open, let us say, to all possible investments of sense” is central to his view that our concepts are inherently repressive, the product of an irreducible “interpretative violence.” See Derrida, Of Grammatology, 45 and Limited Inc, 150.Google Scholar
  6. 41.
    Geoffrey Bennington argues that the “necessary possibility of the death of the writer, in this extended sense” implies that “writing can never fully ‘express’ a thought or realize an intention.” Geoffrey Bennington and Jacques Derrida, Jacques Derrida (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993), 55.Google Scholar
  7. 47.
    Alasdair MacIntyre makes a similar point: “Does this mean that the authority of the morality does not extend beyond the community whose social practices are in question? One is tempted to reply, Does the authority of arithmetical rules extend beyond the community in which the practice of counting is established? … [T]o connect rules and social practice in this way is not obviously to give moral rules less of a hold on us than mathematical, except that no society could advance far without the same type of simple counting, whereas there can be wide variations in the social practice to which moral rules are relevant.” Alasdair MacIntyre, A Short History of Ethics (New York: Macmillan, 1966), 265–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 56.
    Robert Brandom, Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000), 90.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Richard Amesbury 2005

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations