Importantly, we do not conceive of normativity as an isolated domain, but as fundamentally intertwined with theory of mind and, more broadly, with epistemology. This is because what we see in our everyday life are not “norms” – an abstract notion – but particular actions by particular individuals with particular beliefs, desires, and intentions in the here and now. That is to say, the young learner needs to solve a knowledge problem: to infer whether a specific action is subject to a generic norm or not. More fundamentally, beyond inferring the existence of a standard or norm, understanding normativity also means grasping that normative phenomena are human-made social facts that can be changed or brought into existence under certain conditions (e.g., by aligning our beliefs, desires, and intentions). But something is missing. We not only understand normativity theoretically, but we also care about normativity practically.
Most strikingly, we are motivated to act in accord with norms, to correct or punish others who violate norms, and so to uphold common practices and values, even at a personal cost. That is, normativity – most evidently morality – is also interrelated with prosociality.