I will be giving a plenary address at the 20th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology in Sydney, Australia. The title of the address is “Beyond Relativism and ‘Anything Goes’: A PCP-based Constructivist Model of Ethical Meaning-Making.”
Critics say that constructivism embraces an “anything goes” ethics that permits any position. I disagree. In my understanding of constructivism, ethics is unavoidable because people are always embedded in ethical perspectives that infuse everything they do. “Anything goes” is never an option, even if what goes varies by person. This talk is divided into three parts. First, I’ll distinguish three versions of constructivism and distinguish epistemological versus ontological modes of construing. Second, I’ll summarize and counter criticisms that portray constructivism as endorsing “anything goes” relativism. Third, I’ll outline a constructivist model of ethical meaning-making.