David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy Compass 5 (5):363-384 (2010)
Most agree that when it comes to so-called 'first-order' normative ethics and political philosophy, constructivist views are a powerful family of positions. When it comes to metaethics, however, there is serious disagreement about what, if anything, constructivism has to contribute. In this paper I argue that constructivist views in ethics include not just a family of substantive normative positions, but also a distinct and highly attractive metaethical view. I argue that the widely accepted 'proceduralist characterization' of constructivism in ethics is inadequate, and I propose what I call the 'practical standpoint characterization' in its place. I then offer a general taxonomy of constructivist positions in ethics. Since constructivism's standing as a family of substantive normative positions is relatively uncontested, I devote the remainder of the paper to addressing skeptics' worries about the distinctiveness of constructivism understood as a metaethical view. I compare and contrast constructivism with three other standard metaethical positions with which it is often confused or mistakenly thought to be compatible: realism; naturalist reductions in terms of an ideal response; and expressivism. In discussing the contrast with expressivism, I explain the sense in which, according to the constructivist, the distinction between substantive normative ethics and metaethics breaks down. I conclude by distinguishing between two importantly different debates about the mind-dependence of value. I argue that a failure to make this distinction is part of what explains why the possibility of constructivism as a metaethical view is often overlooked.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Carla Bagnoli (2002). Moral Constructivism: A Phenomenological Argument. Topoi 21 (1-2):125-138.
Simon Blackburn (1993). Essays in Quasi-Realism. Oxford University Press.
Simon Blackburn (1984). Spreading the Word. Clarendon Press.
David Copp (ed.) (2006). The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press.
Stephen Darwall, Allan Gibbard & Peter Railton (1992). Toward Fin de Siècle Ethics: Some Trends. Philosophical Review 101 (1):115-189.
Citations of this work BETA
Chris Meyers (2012). Expressivism, Constructivism, and the Supervenience of Moral Properties. Philosophical Explorations 15 (1):17-31.
Niall Connolly (2012). Truth As, At Most, One. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (1):135-147.
Michael Buckley (2013). The Priority of Legitimacy in Times of Political Transition. Human Rights Review 14 (4):327-345.
Michael Buckley (2013). A Constructivist Approach to Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 117 (4):695-706.
Similar books and articles
David Enoch (2011). Can There Be a Global, Interesting, Coherent Constructivism About Practical Reason? Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):319-339.
Richard Galvin (2011). Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Varieties of Kantian Constructivism in Ethics. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):16-36.
Helmut Schwegler (2001). Physics Develops Unaffected by Constructivism. Foundations of Science 6 (4):241-253.
Christine M. Korsgaard (2003). Realism and Constructivism in Twentieth-Century Moral Philosophy. Journal of Philosophical Research 28 (Supplement):99-122.
T. Hug (2010). Radical Constructivism Mainstreaming: A Desirable Endeavor? Critical Considerations Using Examples From Educational Studies and Learning Theory. Constructivist Foundations 6 (1):58-65.
A. Scholl (2010). Radical Constructivism in Communication Science. Constructivist Foundations 6 (1):51-57.
Carla Bagnoli, Constructivism in Metaethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Added to index2010-05-07
Total downloads364 ( #1,011 of 1,679,360 )
Recent downloads (6 months)48 ( #2,232 of 1,679,360 )
How can I increase my downloads?