Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

A role for normativism

Igor Douvena1

a1 Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen, 9712 GL Groningen, The Netherlands. i.e.j.douven@rug.nl www.rug.nl/staff/i.e.j.douven/index

Abstract

Elqayam & Evans (E&E) argue against prescriptive normativism and in favor of descriptivism. I challenge the assumption, implicit in their article, that there is a choice to be made between the two approaches. While descriptivism may be the right approach for some questions, others call for a normativist approach. To illustrate the point, I briefly discuss two questions of the latter sort.

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    Subtracting “ought” from “is”: Descriptivism versus normativism in the study of human thinking Shira Elqayam and Jonathan St. B. T. Evans Division of Psychology, School of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom. selqayam@dmu.ac.uk http://www.psy.dmu.ac.uk/elqayam; School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom. jevans@plymouth.ac.uk http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/jevans
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