Emerged content and dynamic normativit

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

Dynamic Being: Essays in Process-relational Ontology

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First Page


Last Page



Cambridge Scholars Publishing


Normativity, Evolution, Content, Natural norm, External reason


My objective in this essay is to explore and to articulate certain distinctive forms of dynamic normativity at a level deeper than that of our ordinary usage of the terms, "norm" or "rule" in the prescriptive sense of "ought." Forms of normativity, namely, interpretive and constitutive forms, are not only bound by evolution, but ultimately, via the same dynamic process, they give rise to our prescriptive-normative practices.

As a theoretical backdrop for motivating my proposal, I start with an elaboration of the diachronic holism that is embedded in teleo-semantic functions. Then, I discuss the gap between content talk and physical talk, and finally, I shift my focus toward the notion of a natural norm. In justifying my new conception of normativity, I lay out a broad criterion of normativity based on external reasons. Further considerations of the status of external reasons and their relation to internal reasons, or to interpretation, lead me to an articulation of the dynamics of constitutive normativity, embodied in four evolutionary scenarios that are oriented toward full-blown intentionality.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2015 by Vesselin Petrov, Adam C. Scarfe and contributors. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9781443876957

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Recommended Citation

Zheng, Y. (2015). Emerged content and dynamic normativity. In V. Petrov & A. C. Scarf (Eds.), Dynamic being: essays in process-relational ontology (pp. 146-161). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.