Benedict Smith

 Wittgenstein, Naturalism and Normativity

14th May, 2024

@ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

To join this event on Zoom, you must first register via this link. Places are limited. Participants will be allowed in from the Zoom Waiting Room a few minutes before 6pm.


Aout the Speaker
Abstract
Video

About the Speaker


Benedict Smith

Durham UniversityDepartment of Philosophy, Department Member

An undergraduate at the University of Glasgow and then a postgraduate at the University of Warwick, Benedict Smith has a long standing interest in ethics and moral philosophy and has a written a number of articles on topics that address issues in metaethics. He is also very interested in Wittgenstein and Hume, particularly in what we can learn from their work about belief, naturalism and normativity. Recent and current work includes, for example, this on Hume and liberal naturalism and on Wittgenstein and embodied normativity.

Website

More information is also available here.

Abstract

In recent years there has been increasing interest in forms of ‘liberal’ naturalism as alternatives to the more orthodox versions which assign a privileged metaphysical and epistemological status to the natural sciences. An aspiration of liberal naturalism is to provide an account of normative phenomena without first assuming the scientifically described world into which such phenomena need to be ‘placed’ or ‘located’. In this context I consider some aspects of Wittgenstein’s account of normative phenomena – such as belief and understanding – in ways that help us appreciate the character and limitations of construing such things as occurrences in the ‘space of reasons’. I aim to do this partly by drawing on some recent scholarship that explores instructive parallels between Hume and Wittgenstein. One outcome is an opportunity to see how a subsequent account of normativity accommodates key Wittgensteinian insights regarding the natural, non-rational and normative bedrock of our cognitive and practical lives.


Video

Available after the event


 

See more BWS Lecture Series videos