Publication 1046

Désautels J. (2014) Can a “Generic” Subject Produce an Ethical Stance through Its Own Cognitive Operations? Constructivist Foundations 9(2): 267–268. Fulltext at
Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: I agree with some of Quale’s general conclusions, in particular that each individual knower is responsible for choosing among alternatives and the pragmatic consequences that are related to this choice. However, in adopting implicitly the premise according which individual human existence precedes coexistence or social existence, and in focusing on the cognitive operations of a “generic subject” (that is, a disembodied subject coming from nowhere and deprived of any historicity and sociality), Quale’s argumentation becomes questionable. I illustrate this point of view by analysing his discourse concerning the role of language in the conceptualization of cognition and his attempt to ground the source of ethics in the individual construction of the world.


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