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Naturalism, Normativity, and the Space of Reasons


Friday 28 March - Saturday, 29 March 2008


UCD Health Sciences Centre

Organiser: UCD School of Philosophy
Contact: Dr Jim O'Shea
Audience: All Welcome

Naturalism, Normativity, and the Space of Reasons

The American philosopher Wilfrid Sellars famously remarked in 1956 that "in characterising an episode or a state as that of knowing, we are not giving an empirical description of that episode or state; we are placing it in the logical space of reasons, of justifying and being able to justify what one says."

An ever increasing number of philosophers today argue that the crux of a wide variety of crucial problems pertaining to mind, meaning, knowledge, and action ultimately concerns the same problem space adverted to by Sellars: namely, the puzzling relationships between the normatively structured "space of reasons" or rational validity on the one hand, and the domain of naturalistic causal explanations characteristic of modern science on the other.

This conference brings together a distinguished group of philosophers from Europe and America, all of whose work has been centrally concerned with investigating the complex relationships between the natural and the normative.

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