Publication 1045

Lewin P. (2014) Ethics: A Sociological View. Constructivist Foundations 9(2): 265–266. Fulltext at
Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: While Quale’s radical constructivist intervention into ethics is novel and insightful, I advance four counterpoints that underscore the social as opposed to personal nature of ethics. I argue that (1) the social nature of being always integrates individual knowers into a moral order; (2) that cognitive and non-cognitive knowledge are mutually reinforcing rather than mutually exclusive; (3) that non-cognitive knowledge can be communicated just as cognitive knowledge can be; (4) and that ethical standards develop from and ossify as cognitive knowledge all the time. I argue that because ethics are rooted in language, symbols and culture, they are capable of being debated and agreed upon just as cognitive understandings are.


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