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  Monday, October 29, 2012, 06:00 PM- 07:30 PM

    Temporality and Normativity A central problem of modern philosophy has been to understand normativity- how dealings with things can be correct or incorrect, meaningful, confused or senseless, justified or unjustified, appropriate or inappropriate, just or unjust, etc.- within a broadly scientific or even "naturalistic" conception of the world. This issue becomes especially acute for philosophical naturalists, since the sciences themselves are conceptually, epistemically, and politically normative enterprises: it is incoherent to conceive a scientific or naturalistic understanding of the world in ways that render unintelligible how scientific understanding could have a place in that world. This talk responds to these classic issues with two significant re-conceptions of how the issues are usually framed: first, by recognizing the role of "niche construction," especially discursive niche construction, in the co-evolution of human beings with their developmental and selective environments, and second by re-conceiving normativity as a temporal dimension of the discursively articulated practices that are integral to our biological organism/environment relations.