David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This thesis argues for an unorthodox interpretation of John Rawls's egalitarianism as a hybrid of ‘actual contractualism’ and ‘modal contractualism’. It also offers a defence of the theory so understood. According to actual contractualism, a system of political institutions and norms is just only if each person over whom it claims authority actually accepts it in some sense. Actual contractualists stand in contrast with modal contractualists, who take justice to require that no one could reasonably reject the institutions and norms in question. Rawls is standardly read as a modal contractualist, but I argue that his view includes an significant element of actual contractualism. The thesis is divided into three parts. The first part describes actual contractualism and contrasts it with modal contractualism. It goes on to consider the possibility of a hybrid theory, which appeals to modal contractualist reasons to justify an actual contractualist test for justice. I suggest that this is an attractive view. In the second part I go on to argue that a careful understanding of Rawls’s theory view reveals it to be hybrid contractualist. I elaborate Rawls’s strategy of ‘political constructivism’ in the light of this interpretation, and attempt to show that it is very much in the Lockean actual contractualist tradition. The final part of the thesis concerns the justification of specifically Rawls’s egalitarianism. I contend that Rawls’s argument for justice as fairness can be seen as a detailed effort to explain why his egalitarianism is, in the relevant sense, actually accepted by each person, and I argue that as such it succeeds. I then contrast the Rawlsian view with left-libertarianism, another attempt to marry actual contractualism and egalitarianism. I argue that Rawls’s is the more thoroughgoing, unified view, and should be preferred on that basis.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John Rawls (1972). Theory of Justice: Reply to Lyons and Teitelman. Journal of Philosophy 64 (18):556-557.
Jan Narveson (2010). Cohens Rescue. Journal of Ethics 14 (3-4):263-334.
Milton Fisk (1985). The State and the Market in Rawls. Studies in East European Thought 30 (4):347-364.
James Lenman (2008). Contractualism and Risk Imposition. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (1):99-122.
Brad Hooker (2003). Contractualism, Spare Wheel, Aggregation. In Matt Matravers (ed.), Scanlon and Contractualism. Frank Cass. 53-76.
C. Y. Kwong & 江祖胤, The Nature of Moral Duties Scanlon's Contractualist Account of 'What We Owe to Each Other'.
David Alm (2008). Contractualism, Reciprocity, Compensation. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2 (3):1-23.
Nicole Baur (2002). Reversing Rawls: Criteriology, Contractualism and the Primacy of the Practical. Philosophy and Social Criticism 28 (3):251-296.
Samuel Freeman (2007). The Burdens of Public Justification: Constructivism, Contractualism, and Publicity. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (1):5-43.
Jonathan Quong (2007). Contractualism, Reciprocity, and Egalitarian Justice. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (1):75-105.
Added to index2010-07-26
Total downloads41 ( #39,309 of 1,096,601 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #153,658 of 1,096,601 )
How can I increase my downloads?