Constructing Theories

Nicholas Tampio

in Kantian Courage

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780823245000
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823250707 | DOI:

Series: Just Ideas (FUP)

Constructing Theories

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This chapter argues that Kantian constructivism may help contemporary political theorists generate new ideas and principles. The chapter isolates four activities of constructivism: inventing personae, laying out a plane, constructing theories, and evaluating them. The chapter shows how Rawls and Deleuze employ this metaethical procedure to construct their own political theories. The chapter defends constructivism as a mature way to build theories in an unfathomable universe rather than, as its critics decry, a form of nihilism. The chapter concludes by situating Rawls in the moderate Enlightenment and Deleuze in the radical Enlightenment and arguing that the Enlightenment has room for both camps.

Keywords: Constructivism; Principles; Justification; Moderate Enlightenment; Radical Enlightenment

Chapter.  18715 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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