Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
How Hume and Kant Reconstruct Natural LawJustifying Strict Objectivity without Debating Moral Realism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kenneth R. Westphal

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747055

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747055.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 April 2020

Constructivism, Contractarianism, and Basic Obligations

Constructivism, Contractarianism, and Basic Obligations

Chapter:
(p.113) 7 Constructivism, Contractarianism, and Basic Obligations
Source:
How Hume and Kant Reconstruct Natural Law
Author(s):

Kenneth R. Westphal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747055.003.0007

Kant’s Natural Law Constructivism affords an illuminating, powerful critique of Gauthier’s exemplary moral contractarianism. Hume’s and Kant’s Natural Law Constructivism is neutral regarding moral realism, but is constructivist about identifying and justifying moral norms. The basic acts relevant to contractarianism or contractualism concern voluntary agreements we make. Using agreement to establish basic norms faces serious difficulties: those highlighted by Socrates’ question to Euthyphro. Natural Law Constructivism avoids these problems by showing how basic moral norms can be identified and justified independently of voluntary agreement. It further shows that an individual’s justification of his or her acts to others, and the justification of the acts of others to any individual, are inseparable aspects of one and the same justificatory reasoning in which voluntary agreement plays no constitutive role.

Keywords:   contractualism, David Gauthier, Euthyphro question, moral constructivism, moral contractarianism, social contract theory, Thomas Scanlon, social contract theory

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .