Metaethical constructivism and treating others as ends
Barandalla Ajona, Ana Isabel
Ajona, Ana Isabel Barandalla
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Metaethical constructivism approaches metaethical questions from the perspective of the nature of normativity; and it approaches questions about the nature of normativity from the perspective of agency. According to constructivism, normativity originates in the agent. The agent gives herself laws, and these laws are normative because the agent has given them to herself. Placing the agent as the source of normativity enables constructivism to answer metaphysical and epistemological questions about morality with ease. It also allows it to account for the relation between moral judgements and action. But placing the agent as the source of normativity raises two questions. First, if the laws that the agent issues to herself are normative because she issues them to herself, what are the standards of correctness of those laws? Second, if the agent is her own source of normativity, how can she accommodate the normative status of others? In this thesis I explore whether constructivism can answer those questions. In Chapter 1 I argue that the constructivist account of normativity is rich enough to answer the first question. From Chapter 2 onwards I argue that constructivism cannot answer the second question. I argue that its account of normativity requires that the agent does not accommodate the normative status of others.