Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Ariel Zylberman

Committee Member

Jason D’Cruz


A contemporary view of nihilism about values asserts that there is no way to rationalize one normative assessment over another. Metaethical constructivism holds that this is mistaken, seeing that values are non-objective and our standpoint from the practical point of view supplies us with our own set of substantive values. As long as our normative assessment about a given situation follows logically from the practical point of view, then we can say that we have a true and justified normative assessment. The contemporary view of nihilism holds that our values and judgements are arbitrarily ranked, but this is mistaken for at least two reasons. One, our values are subjective in the sense that they pertain to us individually and are not grounded in any fact about the world. Second, as long as the path from our motivational set to our decision is deduced logically, then the outcome is justified. Asking why we came to one conclusion over another is ill-formed, it matters not what the outcome was, but how we arrived at that outcome. As such, this view of constructivism can sidestep the nihilistic argument about non-objective values.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 01, 2021

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