Publication 5367

Butt T. (2000) Pragmatism, constructivism, and ethics. Journal of Constructivist Psychology 13(2): 85–101. Fulltext at
Stojnov (1996) has argued that personal construct psychology furnishes us with a universalist, as opposed to a relativist, ethics. This is a universalism of form rather than content of construing: we have a “personal responsibility of knowledge”. The author critiques Stojnov’s view, arguing that the Sociality Corollary does indeed provide an ethical basis for Kelly’s thought. However, he contends that the construct universalism/relativism is of limited value, and that the apparent relativism in constructivism provides a valuable guide to moral construing. It is argued that the certainty that comes from moral absolutism readily leads not to moral action, but to moralism. The foundationlessness of constructivism provides a valuable counterbalance to this moralism.

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