Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-747cfc64b6-dwt4q Total loading time: 0.274 Render date: 2021-06-12T22:10:23.824Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

Was Kant a ‘Kantian Constructivist’?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2017

Jeremy Schwartz
Affiliation:
Texas Tech University
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Both metaethicists and Kant scholars alike use the phrase ‘Kantian constructivism’ to refer to a kind of austere constructivism that holds that substantive ethical conclusions can be derived from the practical standpoint of rational agency as such. I argue that this widespread understanding of Kant is incompatible with Kant’s claim that the Categorical Imperative is a synthetic a priori practical judgement. Taking this claim about the syntheticity of the Categorical Imperative seriously implies that moral judgements follow from extra-logical but necessary principles. These principles have to do not with the laws of practical thinking but the laws of practical thought about an object. I conclude that historical Kant was not what has come to be called a ‘Kantian constructivist’.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© Kantian Review 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Allison, Henry (1973) The Kant-Eberhard Controversy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Allison, Henry (2004) Kant’s Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense. Revised and enlarged edition. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Anderson, Lanier (2004) ‘It Adds up After All: Kant’s Philosophy of Arithmetic in Light of the Traditional Logic’. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 69, 501540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anderson, Lanier (2005) ‘The Wolffian Paradigm and Its Discontents: Kant’s Containment Definition of Analyticity in Historical Context’. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 87, 2274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bagnoli, Carla (2014) ‘Constructivism in Metaethics’. In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (spring 2014 edition), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/constructivism-metaethics.Google Scholar
Bird, Graham (2006) The Revolutionary Kant. Chicago: Open Court.Google Scholar
Copp, David (2013) ‘Is Constructivism an Alternative to Moral Realism?’. In Carla Bagnoli (ed.), Constructivism in Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 108133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
de Jong, W. R. (1995) ‘Kant’s Analytic Judgments and the Traditional Theory of Concepts’. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 33, 613641.Google Scholar
Dryer, D. P. (1966) Kant’s Solution for Verification in Metaphysics. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
Engstrom, Stephen (2009) The Form of Practical Knowledge. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Enoch, David (2006) ‘Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won’t Come from What is Constitutive of Action’. Philosophical Review, 115, 169198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fitzpatrick, William (2013) ‘How Not to Be an Ethical Constructivist: A Critique of Korsgaard’s Neo-Kantian Constitutivism’. In Carla Bagnoli (ed.), Constructivism in Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 4163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Formosa, Paul (2013) ‘Is Kant a Moral Constructivist or a Moral Realist?European Journal of Philosophy, 21, 170196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gibbard, Alan (2003) Thinking How to Live. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Guyer, Paul (2013) ‘Constructivism and Self-Constitution’. In Mark Timmons, Sorin and Baiasu (eds), Kant on Practical Justification (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 176201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hanna, Robert (2001) Kant and the Foundations of Analytic Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Herman, Barbara (1993) ‘Leaving Deontology Behind’. In Barbara Herman, The Practice of Moral Judgment (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), pp. 208243.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel (1992) Lectures on Logic. Ed. and trans. J. Michael Young. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kant, Immanuel (1996) Practical Philosophy. Ed. and trans. Mary Gregor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel (1998a) Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kant, Immanuel (1998b) Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. Trans. Allen Wood and George di Giovanni. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel (2002) Theoretical Philosophy After 1781 . Ed. Henry Allison, Peter and Heath, trans. Gary Hatfield, Michael Friedman, Henry Allison, and Peter Heath. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Korsgaard, Christine (2008) ‘Realism and Constructivism in Twentieth-Century Moral Philosophy’. In Christine Korsgaard, The Constitution of Agency: Essays on Practical Reason and Moral Psychology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 302327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krasnoff, Larry (2013) ‘Constructing Practical Justification: How Can the Categorical Imperative Justify Desire-Based Actions?’ In Mark Timmons and Sorin Baiasu (eds), Kant on Practical Justification (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 87110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lebar, Mark (2013) ‘Constructivism and Particularism’. In Carla Bagnoli (ed.), Constructivism in Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 183201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ludwig, Bernd (2006) ‘Kant’s Hypothetical Imperatives (GMS II, 417–419)’. In Christopher Horn and Dieter Schönecker (eds), Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2006), pp. 139158.Google Scholar
MacFarlane, John (2002) ‘Frege, Kant, and the Logic in Logicism’. Philosophical Review, 111, 2565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paton, H. J. (1947) The Categorical Imperative: A Study in Kant’s Moral Philosophy. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
Quine, W. V. O. (1961) ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’. In W. V. O. Quine, From a Logical Point of View, 2nd revised edition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), [originally published 1951], pp. 2047.Google Scholar
Reath, Andrews (2013) ‘Formal Approaches to Kant’s Formula of Humanity’. In Mark Timmons and Sorin Baiasu (eds), Kant on Practical Justification (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 201229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schönecker, Dieter (1999) Kant: Grundlegung III: Die Deduktion des kategorischen Imperativs. Freiburg/Munich: Karl Alber GmbH.Google Scholar
Seel, Gerhard (1989) ‘Sind hypothetische Imperative analytische praktische Sätze?’ In Otfried Höffe (ed.), Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten: Ein Kooperativer Kommentar (Frankfurt am Main: Klosterman), pp. 148171.Google Scholar
Sensen, Oliver (2013) ‘Kant’s Constructivism’. In Carla Bagnoli (ed.), Constructivism in Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 6382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stern, Robert (2013) ‘Moral Skepticism, Constructivism, and the Value of Humanity’. In Carla Bagnoli (ed.), Constructivism in Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 2241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Street, Sharon (2010) ‘What is Constructivism in Ethics and Metaethics?Philosophy Compass, 5, 363384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Street, Sharon (2012) ‘Coming to Terms with Contingency: Humean Constructivism about Practical Reason’. In James Lenman and Yonatan Shemmer (eds), Constructivism in Practical Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 4060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Timmons, Mark (1992) ‘Necessitation and Justification in Kant’s Ethics’. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 22, 223261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Cleve, James (1999) Problems from Kant. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Wolff, Robert Paul (1973) The Autonomy of Reason: A Commentary on Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Was Kant a ‘Kantian Constructivist’?
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Was Kant a ‘Kantian Constructivist’?
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Was Kant a ‘Kantian Constructivist’?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *