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Constitutivism about Practical Reasons

In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press. pp. 367-394 (2018)

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  1. Realism and Constructivism in Kantian Metaethics 2 : The Kantian Conception of Rationality and Rationalist Constructivism.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (10):702-713.
    In the second half of this essay, I discuss the robust conception of rationality that lies at the heart of the Kantian version of Rationalist Constructivism – offering some reasons to prefer this conception to the more minimal accounts of rationality associated with Humean views. I then go on to discuss some of the potential metaethical advantages of the resulting form of constructivism.
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  • 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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  • The Authority and Content of Morality: A Dilemma for Constitutivism and a Coherentist Approach to Normativity.Byeong D. Lee - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18.
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  • The aim of inquiry?Jane Friedman - 2024 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 108 (2):506-523.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Hume's Constitutivist Response to Scepticism.Taro Okamura - 2024 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 11.
    In the concluding section of the Book One of the Treatise, Hume confronts radical scepticism about the standards of correct reasoning. According to the naturalistic interpretations, Hume resolves this scepticism by appealing to some psychological facts. A common criticism of this interpretation is that the alleged naturalistic epistemic norm seems to be merely Hume’s report of his psychology, and it remains unclear why this seemingly mere psychological description can provide a principled reason to overcome his scepticism. In this paper, I (...)
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  • Is the autonomy of the will a paradoxical idea?Stefano Bertea - 2023 - Synthese 201 (4):1-21.
    This essay tackles head on the argument that sees an inherent paradox in the autonomy of the will as the ground for the authority of the fundamental practical norms. It points out that only on reductive understandings of the autonomy of the will can this idea be qualified as paradoxical, thereby yielding outcomes that either contradict their premises or present autonomy under a false guise. With that done, it will proceed to offer a conception of the autonomy of the will (...)
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  • Transcendental Arguments and the Sources of Value: Constitutivism as Critical Realism.Linda Lovelli - 2022 - Journal of Transcendental Philosophy 3 (2):171-192.
    In this paper, I present different ways in which transcendental argumentation has been used in contemporary debates in moral philosophy to justify the normative authority of morality. My aim is to defend strong “retorsive” transcendental argumentation as a way to ground a sort of critical realism in metaethics, comparing transcendental arguments proposed by Karl-Otto Apel, Christine Korsgaard and Alan Gewirth – which are sometimes referred to as “constitutivist” arguments. In particular, I endorse an argumentative strategy that considers the merits of (...)
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  • Constitutivism and cognitivism.Jennifer Ryan Lockhart & Thomas Lockhart - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (12):3705-3727.
    Constitutivism holds that an account of what a thing is yields those normative standards to which that thing is by nature subject. We articulate a minimal form of constitutivism that we call _formal, non-epistemological constitutivism_ which diverges from orthodox versions of constitutivism in two main respects. First: whereas orthodox versions of constitutivism hold that those ethical norms to which people are by nature subject are sui generis because of their special capacity to motivate action and legitimate criticism, we argue that (...)
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  • Attributivism.Casey Sean Elliott - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    This is a thesis in three parts. It concerns the normative capacity of attributive goodness. Specifically, it critically evaluates Attributivism, the theory that attributive goodness is fundamentally normative, or that the distribution of that property determines when, whether, and in what way agents ought to act. The first third develops, refines and defends Attributivism. Doing so is, in part, a ground-clearing exercise. I distil that theory from the arguments of many other philosophers. In doing so I isolate and precisify its (...)
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  • In Defense of Constitutivism About Epistemic Normativity.David Horst - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (2):232-258.
    Epistemic constitutivism (EC) holds that the nature of believing is such that it gives rise to a standard of correctness and that other epistemic normative notions (e.g., reasons for belief) can be explained in terms of this standard. If defensible, this view promises an attractive and unifying account of epistemic normativity. However, EC faces a forceful objection: that constitutive standards of correctness are never enough for generating normative reasons. This paper aims to defend EC in the face of this objection. (...)
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  • Creativity and Yóu: the Zhuāngzǐ and scientific inquiry.Julianne Chung - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (2):1-26.
    Might traditional Chinese thought regarding creativity not just influence, but also enrich, contemporary European thought about the same? Moreover, is it possible that traditional Chinese thought regarding creativity might enrich contemporary thought both in a more broad, holistic sense, and more specifically regarding the nature and role of creativity as it pertains to scientific inquiry? In this paper, I elucidate why the answer to these questions is: yes. I explain in detail a classical Chinese conception of creativity rooted in Zhuangist (...)
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  • How to be a child, and bid lions and dragons farewell: the consequences of moral error theory.David James Hunt - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    Moral error theorists argue that moral thought and discourse are systematically in error, and that nothing is, or can ever be, morally permissible, required or forbidden. I begin by discussing how error theorists arrive at this conclusion. I then argue that if we accept a moral error theory, we cannot escape a pressing problem – what should we do next, metaethically speaking? I call this problem the ‘what now?’ problem, or WNP for short. I discuss the attempts others have made (...)
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  • A Reason to Know.Olof Leffler - 2023 - Journal of Value Inquiry 57 (3):557-575.
    It is often thought that desire-based versions of reasons internalism, according to which our practical reasons depend on what we desire, are committed to denying that we have any categorical reasons. I shall argue, however, that such theories are committed to a universal desire which gives rise to an unexpected categorical reason – a reason to know our surroundings. I will arrive at this conclusion by using Fichte’s argument for thinking that security from unpredictable and powerful forces of nature is (...)
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  • The Collective Archives of Mind : An Exploration of Reasons from Metaethics to Social Ontology.Gloria Mähringer - unknown
    This monograph discusses the question of what it is to be a reason – mainly in practical ethics – and proposes an original contribution to metaethics.It critically examines theories of metaethical realism, constructivism and error theory and identifies several misunderstandings or unclarities in contemporary debates. Based on this examination, the book suggests a distinction between a conceptual question, that can be answered by pure first-personal thinking, and a material question, that targets responses to reasons as a natural phenomenon in space (...)
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  • Demonic despair under the guise of the good? Kierkegaard and Anscombe vs. Velleman.Roe Fremstedal - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (5):705-725.
    The aim of this paper is to clarify Kierkegaard’s concept of demonic despair (and demonic evil) and to show its relevance for discussions of the guise of the good thesis (i.e. that in f-ing intentionally, we take f-ing to be good). Contemporary discussions of diabolic evil often emphasise the phenomena of despair and acedia as apparent counter-examples to the guise of the good. I contend that Kierkegaard’s analysis of despair is relevant to these discussions, because it reconciles demonic (extreme) despair (...)
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  • The simple constitutivist move.Luca Ferrero - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (2):146-162.
    A common feature of all versions of constitutivism is the “simple constitutivist move” to the effect that engagement in any enterprise requires respecting the constitutive standards of the enterpri...
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  • Agency’s Constitutive Normativity: An Elucidation.Federica Berdini - 2019 - Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (4):487-512.
    My aim in this paper is to provide a conceptual elucidation of the notion of constitutive normativity, which is central to Constitutivism as a first-order theory of agency, as well as to its metanormative ambitions. After introducing and clarifying the origins and scope of Constitutivism (Section 2), I focus on Christine M. Korsgaard’s version thereof (Section 3), which provides an explicit articulation of the notion of constitutive norms. Despite Korsgaard’s explicit acknowledgement that the concepts of action and agency come in (...)
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  • 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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  • Complicity and Conditions of Agency.Herlinde Pauer-Studer - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (4):643-660.
    In his ground‐breaking study Complicity, Christopher Kutz introduces the notion of ‘participatory intentions’ (individual intentions whose content is collective) to explain an agent's complicity with groups or organisations. According to Kutz, participatory intentions allow us to hold individuals morally accountable for collective wrongs independent of their causal contribution to the wrong and its ensuing harm. This article offers an alternative account of complicity. Its central claim is that an agent's complicity might be due to the dependence of his professional role (...)
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  • Constitutivism About Practical Principles: Its Claims, Goals, Task and Failure.Christine Bratu & Moritz Dittmeyer - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1129-1143.
    The aim of this paper is twofold: In its first part, we work out the key features of constitutivism as presented by Christine Korsgaard. This reconstruction serves to clarify which goals Korsgaard wants to achieve with her account and which of its central claims she has to defend in particular. In the second part, we discuss whether Korsgaard can vindicate constitutivism's most central claim. To do this, we analyse two important arguments - the argument from unavoidability and the argument from (...)
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  • The Foundations of Agency – and Ethics?Olof Leffler - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (2):547-563.
    In this article, I take off from some central issues in Paul Katsafanas’ recent book Agency and the Foundations of Ethics. I argue that Katsafanas’ alleged aims of action fail to do the work he requires them to do. First, his approach to activity or control is deeply problematic in the light of counterexamples. More importantly, the view of activity or control he needs to get his argument going is most likely false, as it requires our values to do work (...)
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