On the nature and sources of normativity: Normativity as grounded in affective human nature
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The overall aim of this project is to explore the foundations of human morality, or what is often referred to more formally as “ethics”. Consistent with widely accepted terminology in philosophy, I deploy the notion of normativity as the central concept of ethics. Thus, every branch of ethics implicitly or explicitly revolves around normativity, including fields that “apply” ethics to specific domains of practice such as business ethics and other forms of professional ethics. Throughout the thesis, I will use business ethics to exemplify applied ethics. I venture to show that understanding normativity has important practical implications, albeit indirect ones. I will not make any clear distinction between “ethics” and “morality” but think of “ethics” more as systematic thought about “morality”, so that ethics relates more to “theory” whereas morality relates more to “practice” and “contextual situatedness”. Thought of this in this manner, I shall be mainly concerned with morality and its normative core.