Moral Objectivity and Reasonable Agreement: Can Realism Be Reconciled with Kantian Constructivism?

Ratio Juris 17 (1):27-51 (2004)

Authors
Cristina Lafont
Northwestern University
Abstract
In this paper I analyze the tension between realism and antirealism at the basis of Kantian constructivism. This tension generates a conflictive account of the source of the validity of social norms. On the one hand, the claim to moral objectivity characteristic of Kantian moral theories makes the validity of norms depend on realist assumptions concerning the existence of shared fundamental interests among all rational human beings. I illustrate this claim through a comparison of the approaches of Rawls, Habermas and Scanlon. On the other hand, however, objections to moral realism motivate many Kantian constructivists to endorse the antirealist claim that reasonable agreement is the source of the validity of social norms. After analyzing the difficulties in the latter strategy, I try to show how a balance between the realist and antirealist elements of Kantian constructivism can be reached by drawing a sharper distinction between the justice and the legitimacy of social norms.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.0952-1917.2004.00253.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,955
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Substantivist Construal of Discourse Ethics.Pablo Gilabert - 2005 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (3):405 – 437.
Habermas's Moral Cognitivism and the Frege-Geach Challenge.James Gordon Finlayson - 2005 - European Journal of Philosophy 13 (3):319–344.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
155 ( #42,294 of 2,319,408 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #339,798 of 2,319,408 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature