Starting Points: Kantian Constructivism Reassessed

Ratio Juris (forthcoming)
Abstract
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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