European Journal of Philosophy 19 (1):1-20 (2011)

Thomas M. Besch
Wuhan University
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 to the issue of scope while adhering to the universalist, ‘cosmopolitan’ commitments at its core. The paper argues that this is not so. On the one hand, it shows that O'Neill's attempt to ‘fix’ the scope of practical reasoning supposes, rather than establishes, a view of ethical standing and the scope of practical reasoning. On the other hand, the paper argues that Kantian constructivism should endorse a non-constructivist, perfectionist view of the good to determine that scope. The paper thereby supports the perfectionist conjecture that Kantian constructivism, in order to defend its universalist commitments, should take refuge in non-constructivist, perfectionist considerations, and that Kantian constructivism should therefore construe perfectionism as a partial, though uneasy, ally
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0378.2009.00376.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,700
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Morals by Agreement.David Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
221 ( #43,006 of 2,432,317 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #466,190 of 2,432,317 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes