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Summary Moral constructivism is a distinctive position both in metaethics and normative ethics. In metaethics, moral constructivism holds that being the result of a suitable constructivist procedure (normally, a characterization of correct practical reasoning) constitutes the correctness of moral judgments, principles and values. Accordingly, normative principles and values are not something we discover through the use of theoretical reason, but a construction of human practical reason. The motivation for this position is to offer an explanation of the nature and origin of normative truths (against moral skepticism) without commitment to the idea that such truths correspond to an independent order of facts (against moral realism). In normative ethics, constructivism holds that principles and judgments within a given normative domain are justified because of the very fact that they would be the result of a suitable constructivist device or procedure. This last thesis is neutral regarding the nature of such principles and judgments, so that some authors who use constructivist devices as a way of justifying their preferred normative content remain silent regarding their metaethical commitments.
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  1. Resolution in Constructivism.S. Akama - 1987 - Logique Et Analyse 120 (20):385-399.
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  2. Malevich Apuntes Sobre Su Aventura Icárica.Luis Cardoza Y. Aragón - 1983
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  3. The Varieties of Moral Improvement, Or Why Metaethical Constructivism Must Explain Moral Progress.Caroline T. Arruda - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-22.
    Among the available metaethical views, it would seem that moral realism—in particular moral naturalism—must explain the possibility of moral progress. We see this in the oft-used argument from disagreement against various moral realist views. My suggestion in this paper is that, surprisingly, metaethical constructivism has at least as pressing a need to explain moral progress. I take moral progress to be, minimally, the opportunity to access and to act in light of moral facts of the matter, whether they are mind-independent (...)
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  4. The Dilemma of Normative Supervenience: A Constructivist Solution.Carla Bagnoli - 2017 - In B. Brozek, Antonino Rotolo & J. Stelmach (eds.), Supervenience and Normativity. New York, Stati Uniti: pp. 105-122.
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  5. Kant in Metaethics: The Paradox of Moral Autonomy, Solved by Publicity.Carla Bagnoli - 2017 - In M. Altman (ed.), Kant Handbook. Palgrave. pp. 355-377.
    This chapter aims to situate Kant’s account of practical reason in metaethical debates. First, it explains the reasons why it is legitimate and instructive to discuss Kant’s relevance in contemporary metaethics, hence addressing some issues about the intended scope of metaethics and its relation to practical reason and psychology. Second, it defends an interpretation of Kant’s conception of autonomy, which avoids some paradoxes traditionally associated with self-legislation. Third, it shows that constructivism best captures Kant’s conception of practical reason and of (...)
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  6. Constructivism in Metaethics.Carla Bagnoli - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Metaethical constructivism is the view that insofar as there are normative truths, they are not fixed by normative facts that are independent of what rational agents would agree to under some specified conditions of choice. The appeal of this view lies in the promise to explain how normative truths are objective and independent of our actual judgments, while also binding and authoritative for us. -/- Constructivism comes in several varieties, some of which claim a place within metaethics while others claim (...)
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  7. Vulnerability and the Incompleteness of Practical Reason.Carla Bagnoli - 2016 - In C. Strahele (ed.), Vulnerability, Autonomy, and Applied Ethics. Rutledge. pp. 13-32.
  8. Constructivism About Practical Knowledge.Carla Bagnoli - 2013 - In Constructivism in Ethics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 153-182.
    It is largely agreed that if constructivism contributes anything to meta-ethics it is by proposing that we understand ethical objectivity “in terms of a suitably constructed point of view that all can accept” (Rawls 1980/1999: 307). Constructivists defend this “practical” conception of objectivity in contrast to the realist or “ontological” conception of objectivity, understood as an accurate representation of an independent metaphysical order. Because of their objectivist but not realist commitments, Kantian constructivists place their theory “somewhere in the space between (...)
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  9. Constructivism in Ethics.Carla Bagnoli (ed.) - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    Are there such things as moral truths? How do we know what we should do? And does it matter? Constructivism states that moral truths are neither invented nor discovered, but rather are constructed by rational agents in order to solve practical problems. While constructivism has become the focus of many philosophical debates in normative ethics, meta-ethics and action theory, its importance is still to be fully appreciated. These new essays written by leading scholars define and assess this new approach in (...)
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  10. Respect and Obligation: The Scope of Kant’s Constructivism.Carla Bagnoli - 2013 - In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. pp. 29-40.
  11. “Kant’s Contribution to Moral Epistemology”.Carla Bagnoli - 2012 - Paradigmi 1:69-79.
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  12. Self-Deception and Agential Authority: A Constructivist Account.Carla Bagnoli - 2012 - Humana Mente 20:93-116.
    This paper takes a constitutivist approach to self-deception, and argues that this phenomenon should be evaluated under several dimensions of rationality. The constitutivist approach has the merit of explaining the selective nature of self-deception as well as its being subject to moral sanction. Self-deception is a pragmatic strategy for maintaining the stability of the self, hence continuous with other rational activities of self-constitution. However, its success is limited, and it costs are high: it protects the agent’s self by undermining the (...)
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  13. Constructivism in Metaethics.Carla Bagnoli - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Constructivism in ethics is the view that insofar as there are normative truths, for example, truths about what we ought to do, they are in some sense determined by an idealized process of rational deliberation, choice, or agreement. As a “first-order moral account”--an account of which moral principles are correct-- constructivism is the view that the moral principles we ought to accept or follow are the ones that agents would agree to or endorse were they to engage in a hypothetical (...)
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  14. Review of Charles Larmore The Autonomy of Morality. [REVIEW]Carla Bagnoli - 2009 - Philosophical Review 118 (4):536-540.
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  15. Moral Constructivism: A Phenomenological Argument.Carla Bagnoli - 2002 - Topoi 21 (1-2):125-138.
  16. Rawls on the Objectivity of Practical Reason.Carla Bagnoli - 2001 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):307-329.
    This article argues that Rawls’ history of ethics importantly contributes to the advancement of ethical theory, in that it correctly situates Kantian constructivism as an alternative to both sentimentalism and rational Intuitionism, and calls attention to the standards of objectivity in ethics. The author shows that by suggesting that both Intuitionist and Humean doctrines face the charge of heteronomy, Rawls appearsto adopt a Kantian conception of practical reason. Furthermore, Rawls follows Kant in assuming that ethical objectivity can be vindicated only (...)
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  17. Constitutivism and Transcendental Practical Philosophy: How to Pull the Rabbit Out of the Hat.Sorin Baiasu - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-24.
    Constitutivism aims to justify substantial normative standards as constitutive of practical reason. In this way, it can defend the constructivist commitment to avoiding realism and anti-realism in normative disciplines. This metaphysical debate is the perspective from which the nature of the constitutivist justification is usually discussed. In this paper, I focus on a related, but distinct, debate. My concern will not be whether the substantial normative claims asserted by the constructivist have some elements, which are not constructed, but real, given (...)
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  18. Constructivist Practical Reasoning and Objectivity.Melissa Barry - 2013 - In David Archard, Monique Deveaux, Neil Manson & Daniel Weinstock (eds.), Reading Onora O'Neill. Routledge. pp. 17-36.
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  19. The Problem of Obligation, the Finite Rational Will, and Kantian Value Realism.Anne Margaret Baxley - 2012 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55 (6):567-583.
    Abstract Robert Stern's Understanding Moral Obligation is a remarkable achievement, representing an original reading of Kant's contribution to modern moral philosophy and the legacy he bequeathed to his later-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century successors in the German tradition. On Stern's interpretation, it was not the threat to autonomy posed by value realism, but the threat to autonomy posed by the obligatory nature of morality that led Kant to develop his critical moral theory grounded in the concept of the self-legislating moral agent. Accordingly, (...)
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  20. Does Evolutionary Psychology Show That Normativity Is Mind-Dependent?Selim Berker - 2014 - In Justin D'Arms & Daniel Jacobson (eds.), Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 215-252.
    Suppose we grant that evolutionary forces have had a profound effect on the contours of our normative judgments and intuitions. Can we conclude anything from this about the correct metaethical theory? I argue that, for the most part, we cannot. Focusing my attention on Sharon Street’s justly famous argument that the evolutionary origins of our normative judgments and intuitions cause insuperable epistemological difficulties for a metaethical view she calls "normative realism," I argue that there are two largely independent lines of (...)
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  21. Reflections on the Foundations of Human Rights.Thomas M. Besch - manuscript
    Is there an approach to human rights that justifies rights-allocating moral-political principles as principles that are equally acceptable by everyone to whom they apply, while grounding them in categorical, reasonably non-rejectable foundations? The paper examines Rainer Forst’s constructivist attempt to provide such an approach. I argue that his view, far from providing an alternative to “ethical” approaches, depends for its own reasonableness on a reasonably contestable conception of the good, namely, the good of constitutive discursive standing. This suggests a way (...)
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  22. Kantian Constructivism, the Issue of Scope, and Perfectionism: O'Neill on Ethical Standing.Thomas M. Besch - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (1):1-20.
    Kantian constructivists accord a constitutive, justificatory role to the issue of scope: they typically claim that first-order practical thought depends for its authority on being suitably acceptable within the right scope, or by all relevant others, and some Kantian constructivists, notably Onora O'Neill, hold that our views of the nature and criteria of practical reasoning also depend for their authority on being suitably acceptable within the right scope. The paper considers whether O'Neill-type Kantian constructivism can coherently accord this key role (...)
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  23. Constructing Practical Reason: O'Neill on the Grounds of Kantian Constructivism.Thomas M. Besch - 2008 - Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (1):55-76.
    The paper addresses O'Neill's view that her version of Kant's Categorical Imperative, namely, the requirement of followability (RF), marks the supreme principle of reason; it takes issue with her claim that RF commits us to Kantian constructivism in practical philosophy. The paper distinguishes between two readings of RF: on a weak reading, RF ranges over all (practical) reasoning but does not commit to constructivism, and on a strong version RF commits to constructivism but fails to meet its own test, and (...)
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  24. On Practical Constructivism and Reasonableness.Thomas M. Besch - 2004 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    The dissertation defends that the often-assumed link between constructivism and universalism builds on non-constructivist, perfectionist grounds. To this end, I argue that an exemplary form of universalist constructivism – i.e., O’Neill’s Kantian constructivism – can defend its universalist commitments against an influential particularist form of constructivism – i.e., political liberalism as advanced by Rawls, Macedo, and Larmore – only if it invokes a perfectionist view of the good. (En route, I show why political liberalism is a form of particularism and (...)
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  25. Kant's Constructivism.Charles P. Bigger - 1981 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):279-291.
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  26. Rawlsian Constructivism and the Assumption of Disunity.Johan Brännmark & Eric Brandstedt - forthcoming - Journal of Political Philosophy.
  27. Review of Korsgaard's The Sources of Normativity[REVIEW]Michael E. Bratman - 1998 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (3):699-709.
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  28. Rawlsian Constructivism in Moral Theory.David O. Brink - 1987 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):71 - 90.
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  29. The Semantics of Moral Communication.Richard Brown - 2008 - Dissertation, The Graduate Center, CUNY
    Adviser: Professor Stefan Baumrin In the first chapter I introduce the distinction between metaethics and normative ethics and argue that metaethics, properly conceived, is a part of cognitive science. For example, the debate between rationalism and sentimentalism can be informed by recent empirical work in psychology and the neurosciences. In the second chapter I argue that the traditional view that one’s theory of semantics determines what one’s theory of justification must be is mistaken. Though it has been the case that (...)
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  30. Constructivism in Practical Philosophy.Eric Campbell - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (3):374-377.
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  31. Kantian Constructivism and the Moral Problem.Bagnoli Carla - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1229-1246.
    According to the standard objection, Kantian constructivism implicitly commits to value realism or fails to warrant objective validity of normative propositions. This paper argues that this objection gains some force from the special case of moral obligations. The case largely rests on the assumption that the moral domain is an eminent domain of special objects. But for constructivism there is no moral domain of objects prior to and independently of reasoning. The argument attempts to make some progress in the debate (...)
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  32. Ideal Agency and the Possibility of Error.Bradford Cokelet - 2008 - Ethics 118 (2):315-323.
    In “Practical Reason and the Possibility of Error," Douglas Lavin claims to have discovered a paradox deep in the heart of Christine Korsgaard’s neo-Kantian project. I argue that Lavin's criticism rests on a mistaken conception of ideal agency. In particular, he falsely assumes that since it is no accident that an ideal agent lives up to sound norms, it must have been impossible for her to deviate from them.
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  33. Social Constructivism Without Paradox.Finn Collin - 1993 - Danish Yearbook of Philosophy 28:24-46.
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  34. A Skeptical Challenge to Moral Non-Naturalism and a Defense of Constructivist Naturalism.David Copp - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 126 (2):269-283.
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  35. An Alternative to Relativism.John K. Davis - 2010 - Philosophical Topics 38 (2):17-37.
    Some moral disagreements are so persistent that we suspect they are deep : we would disagree even when we have all relevant information and no one makes any mistakes. The possibility of deep disagreement is thought to drive cognitivists toward relativism, but most cognitivists reject relativism. There is an alternative. According to divergentism, cognitivists can reject relativism while allowing for deep disagreement. This view has rarely been defended at length, but many philosophers have implicitly endorsed its elements. I will defend (...)
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  36. Conoscenza, azione e antropologia nella filosofia di John Rawls.Giovanni De Grandis - 2003 - Problemata. Quaderni di Filosofia 3:81-139.
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  37. It Only Takes Two to Tango: Against Grounding Morality in Interaction.Sem de Maagt - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    Most Kantian constructivists try to ground universal duties of interpersonal morality in certain interactions between individuals, such as communication, argumentation, shared action or the second-person standpoint. The goal of this paper is to present these, which I refer to as arguments from the second-person perspective, with a dilemma: either the specific kind of interaction that is taken as a starting point of these arguments is inescapable, but in that case the argument does not justify a universal principle of interpersonal morality. (...)
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  38. In Defence of Fact-Dependency.Sem de Maagt - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (3-4):443-462.
    G.A. Cohen and David Estlund claim that, because of their fact-dependent nature, constructivist theories of justice do not qualify as moral theories about fundamental values such as justice. In this paper, I defend fact-dependent, constructivist theories of justice against this fact-independency critique. I argue that constructivists can invoke facts among the grounds for accepting fundamental principles of justice while maintaining that the foundation of morality has to be non-empirical. My claim is that constructivists ultimately account for the normativity of fact-dependent (...)
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  39. Mattis-Teutsch Si Realismul Constructiv = Mattis-Teutsch Und der Konstruktive Realismus.Mircea Deac & János Máttis Teutsch - 1985 - Dacia.
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  40. Carla Bagnoli , Constructivism in Ethics Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013 Pp. 267 ISBN 9781107019218 $95.00. [REVIEW]Richard Dean - 2015 - Kantian Review 20 (1):145-150.
    Book Reviews Richard Dean, Kantian Review, FirstView Article.
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  41. Hegel and Realism – Constructivism Controversy in Ethics.Piotr Dehnel - 2014 - Hegel-Jahrbuch 2014 (1).
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  42. The Logic of Constructivism.Gustavo Fernández Díez - 2002 - Disputatio 12:1 - 6.
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  43. Humean Constructivism and the Relativity Problem(S).Dale Dorsey - manuscript
    In this paper, I argue that a form of moral constructivism inspired by Hume's Enquiry yields a plausible response to the problem of relativity. Though this problem can be stated in many different ways, I argue that a Humean constructivism is far more universal in scope that Hume's positions are often taken to be. In addition, I argue that where Hume's position does imply a limited scope, this limitation is perfectly appropriate. I discuss four iterations of the relativity problem(s) here: (...)
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  44. Idealizing Still Not Off the Hook: A Reply to Sobel's Reply.David Enoch - manuscript
    Many philosophers interested in the nature of moral or other normative truths and facts are attracted to response-dependence accounts. They think, in other words, that the target normative facts are reducible to, or constituted by, or identical with, some facts involving our relevant responses. But these philosophers rarely allow all of our actual responses (of the relevant kind) to play such a role. Rather, they privilege some..
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  45. Shmagency Revisited.David Enoch - 2011 - In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    1. The Shmagency Challenge to Constitutivism In metaethics – and indeed, meta-normativity – constitutivism is a family of views that hope to ground normativity in norms, or standards, or motives, or aims that are constitutive of action and agency. And mostly because of the influential work of Christine Korsgaard and David Velleman, constitutivism seems to be gaining grounds in the current literature. The promises of constitutivism are significant. Perhaps chief among them are the hope to provide with some kind of (...)
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  46. Can There Be a Global, Interesting, Coherent Constructivism About Practical Reason?David Enoch - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):319-339.
    More and more people seem to think that constructivism - in political philosophy, in moral philosophy, and perhaps in practical reasoning most generally - is the way to go. And yet it is surprisingly hard to even characterize the view. In this paper, I go to some lengths trying to capture the essence of a constructivist position - mostly in the realm of practical reason - and to pinpoint its theoretical attractions. I then give some reason to suspect that there (...)
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  47. Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won't Come From What is Constitutive of Action.David Enoch - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (2):169-198.
    There is a fairly widespread—and very infl uential—hope among philosophers interested in the status of normativity that the solution to our metaethical and, more generally, metanormative problems will emerge from the philosophy of action. In this essay, I will argue that these hopes are groundless. I will focus on the metanormative hope, but—as will become clear—showing that the solution to our metanormative problems will not come from what is constitutive of action will also devastate the hope of gaining significant insight (...)
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  48. Why Idealize?David Enoch - 2005 - Ethics 115 (4):759-787.
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  49. Review Essay: On Forst's the Right to Justification. [REVIEW]Eva Erman - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  50. Katsafanas, Paul. Agency and the Foundations of Ethics: Nietzschean Constitutivism.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. 267. $75.00. [REVIEW]Luca Ferrero - 2015 - Ethics 125 (3):883-888.
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