The Grounding Problem of Equal Respect

A Theistic Alternative to Constitutivism




human dignity, good simpliciter, fractals, neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalism, Kantian constructivism, Robert Adams


In this paper, I explore three theories of value to illuminate how nontheistic and theistic accounts may differ in grounding human dignity: neo- Aristotelian ethical naturalism, Kantian constructivism, and a theistic account of good simpliciter. The theistic account of good simpliciter that I offer adapts Robert Adams’s notion of the transcendent Good as the Excellent. In this account, I explain how Adams’ thesis that goodness is a property consisting in a sort of resemblance to God may be understood in a new way, using ideas drawn from contemporary mathematics and quantum mechanics. On my account, we must value human beings neither because such valuing would be beneficial or necessary for human flourishing nor because it is a logical outcome of anything we care to value. Rather it is because we recognize the property of self-similarity in all of us, which may be understood as a resemblance to God as good simpliciter.


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How to Cite

Jung, K. (2023) “The Grounding Problem of Equal Respect: A Theistic Alternative to Constitutivism”, De Ethica, 7(4), pp. 35–49. doi: 10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.237435.