Habit, Reason, and the Limits of Normativity


In recent years one of the views that has risen to prominence in both analytic and continental philosophy is the idea of the fundamental sociality of reason. This socialized reason is presented as both the condition for and the context in which all norms are framed. Of course not everything can be a norm in this sense; for something to count as a reason it must be able to be recognized as a reason by our interlocutors and be something that we can individually and collectively commit ourselves to—that is, give reasons for. This view of normativity and the rationality of this social sphere assumes a public domain supported by liberal social and political institutions that provide the kind of deliberative social conditions by which what can count as a reason to act or as a justification can be seen to be collectively sanctioned. The whole social sphere so conceived is the “logical space of reasons,” a social space for “the giving and asking for reasons”.

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