Synopses & Reviews
This volume presents twelve original papers on constructivism--some sympathetic, others critical--by a distinguished group of moral philosophers. "Kantian constructivism holds that moral objectivity is to be understood in terms of a suitably constructed social point of view that all can accept. Apart from the procedure of constructing the principles of justice, there are no moral facts." So wrote John Rawls in his highly influential 1980 Dewey lectures "Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory." Since then there has been much discussion of constructivist understandings, Kantian or otherwise, both of morality and of reason more generally. Such understandings typically seek to characterize the truth conditions of propositions in their target domain in maximally metaphysically unassuming ways, frequently in terms of the outcome of certain procedures or the passing of certain tests, procedures or tests that speak to the distinctively practical concerns of deliberating human agents living together in societies. But controversy abounds over the interpretation and the scope as well as the credibility of such constructivist ideas. The essays collected here reach to the heart of this contemporary philosophical debate, and offer a range of new approaches and perspectives.
About the Author
was educated at Oxford and St Andrews Universities and employed by Lancaster and Glasgow Universities. He is currently Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield.
Yonatan Shemmer was educated at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Stanford University where he held a fellowship in the Humanities before moving to the University of Sheffield where he is now a Lecturer in Philosophy.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
1. Introduction, James Lenman and Yonatan Shemmer
2. Constructivism about Normativity: Some Pitfalls, R. Jay Wallace
3. Coming to Terms with Contingency: Humean Constructivism about Practical Reason, Sharon Street
4. Constructing Protagorean Objectivity, Aaron James
5. Constructivism, Agency, and the Problem of Alignment, Michael E. Bratman
6. A Puzzle for Constructivism and How to Solve It, Dale Dorsey
7. Constructivism and the Argument from Autonomy, Robert Stern
8. Kantian Constructivism: Something Old, Something New, Michael Ridge
9. Constructing Coherence, Yonatan Shemmer
10. A Problem for Ambitious Metanormative Constructivism, Nadeem J. Z Hussain
11. Constructivism and Wise Judgment, Valerie Tiberius
12. Expressivism and Constructivism, James Lenman
13. The Appeal and Limits of Constructivism, T. M. Scanlon