Re-constructing Kant: Kant’s Teleological Moral Realism

Kant Yearbook 14 (1):71-95 (2022)
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It is common for constructivists to claim that Kant was the first philosopher to understand moral facts as ‘constructions of reason’. They think that Kant, just like the constructivist, proposes a procedure – the Categorical Imperative – from which the order of value can be ‘constructed’ and grounds the validity of this construction procedure not in some previous value but in its capacity to solve a practical problem, the problem of ‘free agency’. I here argue that this reading is misguided and propose that we read Kant as a teleological realist instead. Kant is a realist in that he takes the value of rational nature to be objective and so not ‘constructed’. Kant is a teleological realist insofar as his derivation of the moral law from the objective value of rational nature relies on a teleological understanding of rational nature.



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Facundo Rodriguez
Cambridge University

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Kantian constructivism in moral theory.John Rawls - 1930 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (9):515-572.
Constructivism about reasons.Sharon Street - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 3:207-45.
Taking Rights Seriously.Ronald Dworkin - 1979 - Mind 88 (350):305-309.
What is constructivism in ethics and metaethics?Sharon Street - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (5):363-384.
Realism and Constructivism in Twentieth-Century Moral Philosophy.Christine M. Korsgaard - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Research 28 (9999):99-122.

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