Skip to main content

The Structure of Normativity


Some of the core fields of philosophy – including moral philosophy, value theory, and epistemology – are, at their heart, concerned with normative questions: questions about what is good or bad, right or wrong, justified or unjustified. These questions concern the content of judgements that human beings are constantly making and that structure our way of thinking, feeling, and acting. But while there is wide agreement in contemporary philosophy that normative judgements form a unified and important category of human thought, philosophers still struggle to understand what normativity actually is.
One highly attractive hypothesis is that normativity can be analysed in terms of reasons – i.e. in terms of the factors that count in favour of or against actions or attitudes. But the systematic exploration of this Reasons-First Approach is still lacking. REASONS F1RST aims to undertake this much-needed investigation. Fostering multidisciplinary conversations, the project will explore the Reasons-First Approach on a large scale. It seeks to address recent challenges to the Reasons-First Approach and to show that it prevails over alternative approaches to understanding normativity. REASONS F1RST thus pursues a twofold objective: (i) to assess the merits and demerits of the Reasons-First Approach compared to alternative proposals and (ii) to work out in detail how different normative phenomena – including values, obligations and rights, the justification of beliefs, as well as appropriateness norms for emotions – can be explained in terms of reasons. Building on the work of a multidisciplinary research team, REASONS F1RST aims at nothing less than a fundamental understanding of one of the most important concepts of contemporary philosophy.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 499 477,50
Unter Den Linden 6
10117 Berlin

See on map

Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart Stuttgart, Stadtkreis
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00