Organon F

Volume 28, August 2021, Issue 3, Pages 505–530

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article | Special issue on Value in Language

Normative Naturalism on Its Own Terms

Pekka Väyrynen


Normative naturalism is primarily a metaphysical doctrine: there are normative facts and properties, and these fall into the class of natural facts and properties. Many objections to naturalism rely on additional assumptions about language or thought, but often without adequate consideration of just how normative properties would have to figure in our thought and talk if naturalism were true. In the first part of the paper, I explain why naturalists needn’t think that normative properties can be represented or ascribed in wholly non-normative terms. If so, certain prominent objections to normative naturalism fail. In the second part, I consider the objection that normative properties are “just too different” from (other) natural properties to themselves be natural properties. I argue that naturalists have no distinctive trouble making sense of thought and talk involving forms of “genuine” or “authoritative” normativity which can drive a non-question-begging form of the objection.


Authoritative normativity; normative concepts; normative naturalism; one-term naturalism; practical normativity.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Pekka Väyrynen 


University of Leeds


The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.


About this article


6 November 2020


9 April 2021

Published online

24 July 2021


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Väyrynen, P. (2021). Normative Naturalism on Its Own Terms. Organon F28(3), 505–530.


Väyrynen, Pekka. 2021. "Normative Naturalism on Its Own Terms." Organon F 28 (3): 505–530.


Väyrynen, P. (2021). Normative Naturalism on Its Own Terms. Organon F, 28(3), pp. 505–530.

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© Pekka Väyrynen

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