Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality

Oxford University Press (2010)
Contractualism has a venerable history and considerable appeal. Yet as an account of the foundations or ultimate grounds of morality it has been thought by many philosophers to be subject to fatal objections. This book argues otherwise. It begins by detailing and diagnosing the shortcomings of the main existing models of contractualism, “Hobbesian” contractualism (or contractarianism) and “Kantian” contractualism. It then proposes a novel, "deliberative" model, based on an interpersonal, deliberative conception of practical reason. It argues that the deliberative model of contractualism represents an attractive alternative to its more familiar rivals and that it has the resources to offer a more compelling account of morality’s foundations, one that can do justice to the twin demands of moral accuracy and explanatory adequacy.
Keywords contractualism  contractarianism  deliberative contractualism  Kantian contractualism  Hobbesian contractualism  morality
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $29.98 used (54% off)   $34.86 new (47% off)   $56.90 direct from Amazon (13% off)    Amazon page
Call number BJ1500.C65.S68 2010
ISBN(s) 9780199539659   0199539650
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Nicholas Southwood (2009). Moral Contractualism. Philosophy Compass 4 (6):926-937.
    Stephanie Collins (2013). Duties to Make Friends. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):907-921.
    Similar books and articles
    Nicholas Southwood (2008). A Deliberative Model of Contractualism. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (2):183-208.
    Nicholas Southwood (2009). Moral Contractualism. Philosophy Compass 4 (6):926-937.
    Leif Wenar (2003). What We Owe to Distant Others. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (3):283-304.
    David Alm (2008). Contractualism, Reciprocity, Compensation. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2 (3):1-23.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    48 ( #28,725 of 1,088,389 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    3 ( #30,936 of 1,088,389 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.