In this research project I propose an approach to normativity and to the functioning of norms in the coordination of social life that is based upon a theory of normativity as practice. The aim of this project is threefold. Firstly, to show that our understanding of normativity remains utterly opaque as long as we do not take into account its practical dimension. Secondly, to prove that sociality is one of the central sources of normativity and that the functioning of normativity cannot be fully understood unless the epistemic implications of the social dimension are considered. Thirdly, to develop a theoretical model and conceptual tools to be used in the analysis and resolution of moral disagreements and political controversies. A pragmatist epistemology of practices is the conceptual framework within which this project has been conceived, while the theory of rationality as a social institution is the conception of rationality that grounds it. Jointly, these approaches require and justify the thoroughly interdisciplinary approach to normativity that this project intends to pursue.
Roberto Frega (PhD, University Paris 8) is a philosopher specialised in contemporary philosophy. He has published two monographs on John Dewey’s philosophy (Pensée, experience, pratique. Essai sur la théorie du jugement de John Dewey, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2006; and John Dewey et la philosophie comme épistémologie de la pratique, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2006), a book on contemporary theories of rationality in American Philosophy (Voci della ragione, Quodlibet, Macerata, 2009; French translation, Vrin, 2011), a book on pragmatist moral and political philosophy (Practice, Judgment, and the Challenged of Moral and Political Disagreement. A Pragmatist Account, Lexington, Lanham, MD, 2012) and more than twenty articles. Besides several edited volumes on pragmatist philosophy, he has edited a selection of Dewey’s epistemological essays (Filosofia sperimentale. Teoria naturalistica della conoscenza e del pensiero, Quodlibet, Macerata, 2008). He is co-executive editor of the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy.