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David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Malcolm Murray (ed.), Liberty, Games, and Contracts: Jan Narveson and the Defence of Libertarianism. Ashgate (2007)
In The Libertarian Idea, Jan Narveson explains his interpretation of social contract theory this way: "The general idea of this theory is that the principles of morality are (or should be) those principles for directing everyone's conduct which it is reasonable for everyone to accept. They are the rules that everyone has good reason for wanting everyone to act on, and thus to internalize in himself or herself, and thus to reinforce in the case of everyone." It is plain, here, that Narveson believes that social contract is to provide justification -- a foundation, in fact -- for 'the principles of morality'. The burden assumed in this essay is to examine how far Narveson has succeeded in making this foundational claim plausible.
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