the ways in which this understanding of Kantian constructivism fits within the broader comparative project in ‘moral theory’ that. Rawls inherits from Sidgwick. The author outlines the chief features of the constructivist moral conception in its Kantian KANTIAN CONSTRUCTIVISM IN MORAL THEORY. John Rawls. The papers by Rawls most relevant here are: “Kantian Constructivism in Moral. Theory: The Dewey Lectures ,” Journal of Philosophy 77 ():

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Like the Kantian varieties of constructivism, Aristotelian constructivism appeals to constitutive features of practical reason:. Sign in to use this feature. This scholarly debate is important to assess the prospects of constructivism, especially as a metaethical view distinct from realism Bagnoli forthcoming: This criticism rests on the assumption that there kantiaj a sharp division between normative ethics and metaethics.

Substantive realism holds that there are objective criteria of correctness for moral judgments only if such judgments represent matters of fact about the way the world is.

Part of his argument is that moral matters cannot be resolved by appealing to the bare structure of rationality the constitutive norm of practical reason and instead, need to be addressed theiry engaging in substantive arguments Scanlon b: Constructivists and their critics disagree about the role to accord to intuitions in rational justification.

However, not all constructivists share this view. Accordingly, the theory accounts for moral truth as depending on what would be rational for societies to choose.

Philip Kitcher – – Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 1: In either case, Kantian ethics seems incapable to account for the relevance of circumstances for ethical judgments. On this view, reasons for being moral do not spring from our interests or desires; instead, they are rooted in our nature as rational agents.


Constructivism in Metaethics

For an agent to be correctly said to have norms, she must be able to break those norms. Constitutivism is the view that one can explain reasons or normativity in terms of what is constitutive of agency. Scanlon argues that the constructivist account of general normativity is exposed to the objection of bootstrapping, because it tries to justify the normativity of reasons by a method that already assumes the normativity of reason Scanlon In this respect, the Aristotelians claim to have a significant advantage because Aristotelian constructivism allows practical reasoning to adapt to particular cases.

Rather, they are grounded in a substantive account of the good life, which is inspired by ancient eudaimonism.

Constructivism in Metaethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

By contrast, the constructivist view is that there are objective criteria of moral judgment insofar as there are objective criteria about how to reason about practical matters.

As Rawls explains it. Her more recent works point toward a new direction in the debate about constructivism, which combines Aristotelian and Kantian features Korsgaard There are two ways of formulating and motivating this objection.

But not all define realism in this restrictive way Sayre-McCord ; Constructiviwm Sections 6 and 7 review several debates about the problems, promise and prospects of kantuan constructivism.

Rather, such roles become practical identities, and sources of reasons, insofar as we reflectively endorse them Korsgaard a: In deliberating, we attribute to ourselves the power to confer value on our ends by rationally choosing them. Reason is autonomous if its authority rests on its proper activity, rather than being derived from elements of the world outside of reason. According to the sentimentalist, the role of reason is solely instrumental.

If it is construcitvism, then there is no reason to expect that the principles that emerge … will capture our deepest convictions, or respect various platitudes that fix our understanding of ethical concepts. The anti-metaphysical orientation of constructivism is apparent in early defenses of metaethical constructivism. This is because universal principles are the constitutive principles of rational actions, on the Kantian view.


How to make something of yourself without being all that you can be. Williams, Bernard,Moral LuckCambridge: In this sense, there is an interesting contrast to be drawn between Kantian constructivism and reductivist versions of sophisticated subjectivism or response-dependent realism.

Sentimentalism, championed by Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith, holds that ethical judgments stem from sentiments and regards reason as incapable of moving us to action on its own. Kantian PerspectivesOxford: Constructivism thus either grounds moral truths on arbitrary standards or collapses into realism.

How does awareness of this fact rationally compel us to refrain from deceiving?

Constructivists must deny the correspondence theory of truth, the view that truth is correspondence to a fact. To say that a rational agent is guided by such a norm is to say that she can violate it. To such critics, the appeal to a transcendental argument for the value of humanity already counts as a markedly realist move Larmore If motal standards of practical reasoning are fundamental to all human reasoning, then any vindication of these standards is either circular since it uses those very standards or a failure since it is not a vindication in terms of the standards that are said to be fundamental.

But how does constructivism justify the norms it claims to be constitutive of practical reason? Philippa Foot and Moral TheoryOxford: