chapter  1
40 Pages

Fundamentals of Construction

In his dissertation, A Study in the Grounds of Ethical Knowledge (1950), Rawls specified three major attitudes to the question of justification of moral principles. First, according to authoritarianism, the authority of a state, party, tradition, church, or of an “individual’s act of faith” justifies principles.1 The second attitude is positivism. In the form of emotivism, social structuralism, pure theory of law, or the like, positivism claims that moral principles cannot be “validated or invalidated by reason.”2 Rawls defends the third attitude, but he does not give a handy name to it. I call it the broad use of reason. This approach includes various ways of using reason.