This paper argues that the most innovative aspect of Kant’s ethical theory is not afirst-order normative ethics, even though the importance and long-lasting mark ofKant’s ethics of autonomy cannot be questioned. Rather, it consists in a constructivistaccount of moral cognition. This claim may be perplexing in more than one way, sinceconstructivism is often characterized both as a first-order account of moral judgmentsand as a retreat from epistemological and ontological commitments. This characterizationis misleading in general, and mistaken for Kant’s constructivism in particular.Kant’s constructivism is a methodological claim about the authority and productivefunction of reason and an epistemological claim about the nature of moral cognitions.
Keywords: Constitutivism, Constructivism, Epistemology, Justification, Kant, Practicalreason.