Aristotelian constructivism

Social Philosophy and Policy 25 (1):182-213 (2008)
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Constructivism about practical judgments, as I understand it, is the notion that our true normative judgments represent a normative reality, while denying that that reality is independent of our exer-cise of moral and practical judgment. The Kantian strain of practical constructivism (through Kant himself, John Rawls, Christine Korsgaard, and others) has been so influential that it is tempting to identify the constructivist approach in practical domains with the Kantian development of the out-look. In this essay I explore a somewhat different variety of practical constructivism, which I call Aristotelian Constructivism. My aim is to establish conceptual space for this form of constructivism by indicating both in what ways it agrees with its Kantian counterparts and in what ways it differs. I argue that Aristotelian Constructivism is on one sense more faithful to the constructivist enterprise than the Kantian varieties, in that its understanding of both the establishment of practical truth and the vindication of the theory itself is constructivist.



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Mark LeBar
Florida State University

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