David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (5):521-540 (2010)
Contemporary discussions of the positive relation between rational choice and moral theory are a special case of a much older tradition that seeks to show that mutual agreement upon certain moral rules works to the mutual advantage, or in the interests, of those who so agree. I make a few remarks about the history of discussions of the connection between morality and self-interest, after which I argue that the modern theory of rational choice can be naturally understood as a continuation of this older tradition. I then go on to argue for a controversial three-fold thesis: (1) that grounding a theory of morality in terms of rational self-interest is the only epistemologically respectable way to proceed with the justification of moral principles; (2) that despite this, most of the contemporary explorations of rational choice foundations for moral principles do not work—that the models of rational choice to which they appeal yield less than the substantial results that they are intended to yield; but (3) that if one rethinks just what it means to be rational, one can find in fact a promising way to connect the two—specifically through the development of a theory of genuinely cooperative activity.
|Keywords||Bargaining Game theory Gauthier Harsanyi Moral theory Morgenstern Nash Rational choice Rawls Von Neumann|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
David P. Gauthier (1986). Morals by Agreement. Oxford University Press.
John Locke (2007). Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub. Ltd.
John Rawls (1951). Outline of a Decision Procedure for Ethics. Philosophical Review 60 (2):177-197.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Moehler (2015). Rational Cooperation and the Nash Bargaining Solution. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):577-594.
Similar books and articles
Bruno Verbeek (2010). Rational Choice Virtues. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (5):541-559.
Edward F. McClennen (1990). Rationality and Dynamic Choice: Foundational Explorations. Cambridge University Press.
Peter Vallentyne (1986). Gauthier on Rationality and Morality. Eidso 5 (1):79-95.
Stanley Kelley (1995). The Promise and Limitations of Rational Choice Theory. Critical Review 9 (1-2):95-106.
Bruno Verbeek (2008). Consequentialism and Rational Choice: Lessons From the Allais Paradox. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):86–116.
Kaisa Herne & Maija Setälä (2004). A Response to the Critique of Rational Choice Theory: Lakatos' and Laudan's Conceptions Applied. Inquiry 47 (1):67 – 85.
Debra Friedman & Michael Hechter (1988). The Contribution of Rational Choice Theory to Macrosociological Research. Sociological Theory 6 (2):201-218.
Howard Sankey (1995). The Problem of Rational Theory-Choice. Epistemologia 18 (2):299-312.
James Bernard Murphy (1995). Rational Choice Theory as Social Physics. Critical Review 9 (1-2):155-174.
Milan Zafirovski (2000). The Rational Choice Generalization of Neoclassical Economics Reconsidered: Any Theoretical Legitimation for Economic Imperialism? Sociological Theory 18 (3):448-471.
Amparo Gómez Rodríguez (2008). Rational Choice Theory and Economic Laws: The Role of Shared Values. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 96 (1):191-205.
Robert J. Holton (1995). Rational Choice Theory in Sociology. Critical Review 9 (4):519-537.
Dennis Chong (1995). Rational Choice Theory's Mysterious Rivals. Critical Review 9 (1-2):37-57.
Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2013). A Reason-Based Theory of Rational Choice. Noûs 47 (1):104-134.
Robert E. Lane (1995). What Rational Choice Explains. Critical Review 9 (1-2):107-126.
Added to index2010-11-22
Total downloads74 ( #41,301 of 1,724,733 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #210,964 of 1,724,733 )
How can I increase my downloads?