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École normale supérieure


Colloquium (NPC), Prof David Velleman (NYU), "The two normativities", March 12th, 19-21h

Speaker : David Velleman (NYU)

Title : The two normativities

Abstract : Two kinds of normativity have been identified by moral philosophers. One is the normativity of action- or attitude-guiding language ; the other is the normativity of reasons for actions or attitudes. I am going to argue that the normativity of language and the normativity of reasons have much less to do with each other than is generally supposed. My suggestion is that Hume’s argument about ‘is’ and ‘ought’, which is an argument about language, has very little to do with his argument about reason and the passions, which is an argument about reasons.

This colloquium will be pre-read. Please contact the organizers ( for a link and a copy of the paper.