Theorists working on metaethics and the nature of normativity typically study goodness, rightness, what ought to be done, and so on. In their investigations they employ and consider our actual normative concepts. But the actual concepts of goodness, rightness, and what ought to be done are only some of the possible normative concepts there are. There are other possible concepts, ascribing different properties. Matti Eklund explores the consequences of this thought,
for example for the debate over normative realism, and for the debate over what it is for concepts and properties to be normative. Conceptual engineering - the project of considering how our concepts can be replaced by better ones - has become a central topic in philosophy. Eklund applies this
methodology to central normative concepts and discusses the special complications that arise in this case. For example, since talk of improvement is itself normative, how should we, in the context, understand talk of a concept being better?
Matti Eklund is Chair Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at Uppsala University. He received his PhD from MIT in 2000. Previously he has taught at University of Iceland, William Paterson University of New Jersey, University of Colorado-Boulder, Harvard University and Cornell University.
1: Ardent Realism 2: Alternative Normative Concepts 3: Qualifications and Objections 4: Normative Concepts 5: Normative Properties 6: Presentationalism 7: Being Against What Is Plainly Right 8: Connections 9: Thick Concepts 10: Some Metaphilosophical Issues 11: Concluding Remarks