Starting Points: Kantian Constructivism Reassessed

Ratio Juris (forthcoming)
G.A. Cohen, and J. Raz object that Constructivism is incoherent because it crucially deploys unconstructed elements in the structure of justification. This paper offers a reply on behalf of constructivism, by reassessing the role of such unconstructed elements. First, it shows that a shared conception of rational agency works as a starting point for the justification, but it does not play a foundational role. Second, it accounts for the unconstructed norm that constrains the activity of construction as constitutive. Finally, on this basis, it draws a contrast between constructivism and foundational methods of ethics, such as deontology and teleology.
Keywords constructivism   political liberalism  John Rawls,  Onora O’Neill
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