Volume 4 · Number 3 · Pages 117–120

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Relativism, Fascism, and the Question of Ethics in Constructivism

Ernst von Glasersfeld

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Purpose: Radical constructivism holds that experiential reality is created by each individual. As a way of thinking, it unquestionably belongs to the theories of knowledge that are called “subjectivist” and “relativist.” This paper deals with the Italian philosopher Adriano Tilgher’s analysis of the relation between relativism and fascism and examines the possible impact of this connection on constructivism and its view of ethics. Approach: Conceptual analysis and the demonstration of a contradiction in Tilgher’s argumentation. Findings: A review of the ethics inherent in Kant’s categorical imperative shows a tendency towards a subjectivism that may hint at anarchism but in no way implies fascism. Implications: This investigation should make it more difficult for critics of constructivism to relate it to fascism.

Key words: relativism, subjectivism, ethics, categorical imperative


Glasersfeld E. von (2009) Relativism, fascism, and the question of ethics in constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 4(3): 117–120. http://constructivist.info/4/3/117

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