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  1. added 2018-11-16
    Moralische Forderungen Und Relativismus.Fabian Wendt - 2018 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 66 (5):653-668.
    Peter Stemmer has developed an elegant and impressive theory of normativity and morality. In this article, I try to show that he does not achieve two goals he set for himself. First, his theory does not capture the categorical bindingness of moral demands, even in Stemmer’s own interpretation of categorical bindingness: it does not show that we must follow moral demands no matter what our personal goals and desires are. Second, just because it would be rational to establish positive moralities (...)
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  2. added 2018-11-10
    Replies to Gaus, Van Schoelandt and Cooper: Prudence, Morality and the Social Contract.Michael Moehler - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Abstract. In Minimal Morality (2018), I develop a multilevel social contract theory that accommodates deep moral pluralism. In this article, I reply to comments by Gaus, Van Schoelandt and Cooper concerning the three core projects of the book that aim to (i) revive orthodox rational choice contractarianism as a viable approach to the social contract, (ii) integrate this approach into a comprehensive social contract theory and (iii) show the applicability of the theory to the real world. My replies clarify some (...)
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  3. added 2018-11-10
    Summary of Minimal Morality: A Multilevel Social Contract Theory.Michael Moehler - forthcoming - Analysis.
  4. added 2018-10-04
    The United States is Obligated to Take All Refugees of a Kind.Stan Lovelace - manuscript
    A Hobbesian Realist position concerning Nation States and their generative grounds in the Social Contract obligates the United States to accept any and all refugees of conflict who are willing to recognize the sovereign power of the United States by submitting to citizenship requirements determined by the United States.
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  5. added 2018-09-29
    Diversity, Stability, and Social Contract Theory.Michael Moehler - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    The topic of moral diversity is not only prevalent in contemporary moral and political philosophy, it is also practically relevant. Moral diversity, however, poses a significant challenge for moral theory building. John Thrasher (Synthese, forthcoming), in his discussion of public reason theory, which includes social contract theory, argues that if one seriously considers the goal of moral constructivism and considerations of representation and stability, then moral diversity poses an insurmountable problem for most public reason theories. I agree with Thrasher that (...)
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  6. added 2018-07-24
    Crash Algorithms for Autonomous Cars: How the Trolley Problem Can Move Us Beyond Harm Minimisation.Dietmar Hübner & Lucie White - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):685-698.
    The prospective introduction of autonomous cars into public traffic raises the question of how such systems should behave when an accident is inevitable. Due to concerns with self-interest and liberal legitimacy that have become paramount in the emerging debate, a contractarian framework seems to provide a particularly attractive means of approaching this problem. We examine one such attempt, which derives a harm minimisation rule from the assumptions of rational self-interest and ignorance of one’s position in a future accident. We contend, (...)
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  7. added 2018-04-23
    Contractualism for Us As We Are.Nicholas Southwood - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    A difficult problem for contractualists is how to provide an interpretation of the contractual situation that is both subject to appropriately stringent constraints and yet also appropriately sensitive to certain features of us as we actually are. My suggestion is that we should embrace a model of contractualism that is structurally analogous to the “advice model” of the ideal observer theory famously proposed by Michael Smith (1994; 1995). An advice model of contractualism is appealing since it promises to deliver a (...)
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  8. added 2018-04-23
    Contractualism and Radical Pluralism.Nicholas Southwood - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    Abstract: How should contractualists seek to accommodate and respond to the existence of radical pluralism within contemporary liberal states? Ryan Muldoon has recently argued that a) the dominant Kantian liberal model of contractualism is hopelessly ill equipped to do so but that b) there is a particular kind of Hobbesian contractualism that can do much better. I raise some problems concerning the capacity of Muldoonian contractualism to respond appropriately to the problem of radical pluralism. I then propose a very different (...)
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  9. added 2018-03-09
    Moral Aus Interesse: Metaethik der Vertragstheorie.Michael von Grundherr - 2007 - De Gruyter.
    One can justify moral rules on the basis of their advantageousness without equating morality and advantage.
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  10. added 2018-02-18
    Trust, Risk, and the Social Contract.Brian Skyrms - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):21-25.
    The problem of trust is discussed in terms of David Hume's meadow-draining example. This is analyzed in terms of rational choice, evolutionary game theory and a dynamic model of social network formation. The kind of explanation that postulates an innate predisposition to trust is seen to be unnecessary when social network dynamics is taken into account.
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  11. added 2018-02-18
    Evolution of the Social Contract.Brian Skyrms - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this pithy and highly readable book, Brian Skyrms, a recognised authority on game and decision theory, investigates traditional problems of the social contract in terms of evolutionary dynamics. Game theory is skilfully employed to offer new interpretations of a wide variety of social phenomena, including justice, mutual aid, commitment, convention and meaning. The author eschews any grand, unified theory. Rather, he presents the reader with tools drawn from evolutionary game theory for the purpose of analysing and coming to understand (...)
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  12. added 2017-09-03
    Rationality is Not Fair.Michael Byron - 1995 - Analysis 55 (4):252-260.
    Gauthier argues in Morals by Agreement that morality is derivable from rationality. A crucial premise is that rational bargaining is procedurally fair. Gauthier defends this claim by trying to show that his principle of rational bargaining determines a fair distribution of the overall return from cooperation, including the cooperative surplus. He supports this point in part by the argument from agreement: since (1) procedurally fair principles proportion return to contribution, and since (2) every bargainer has the power to agree in (...)
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  13. added 2017-08-15
    Gern Helf’ Ich Dem Freunde? Pflichten in Informellen Sozialbeziehungen.Ludger Jansen - 2014 - In Jörn Müller & Karl Mertens (eds.), Die Dimension des Sozialen: Neue Philosophische Zugänge Zu Fühlen, Wollen Und Handeln. De Gruyter. pp. 333-350.
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  14. added 2017-07-24
    Contractualism and Animals.Mark Bernstein - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 86 (1):49-72.
  15. added 2017-05-30
    Contractualismo.Miguel Angel Quintana Paz - 2006 - In Andrés Ortiz-Osés & Patxi Lanceros (eds.), Diccionario de la existencia. Barcelona-México: Anthropos-UNAM. pp. 99-106.
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  16. added 2017-03-28
    Gauthier, Equilibrium, and the Emergence of Morality.Brett Mullins - 2016 - Dialogue 55 (4):677-693.
    David Gauthier develops morality in the social contract tradition as an emergent property rationally necessitated by the presence of inefficiency. To demarcate situations in which morality arises from those in which it does not, two principles, Strategic Emergence and Market Emergence, are motivated and assumed by Gauthier to be equivalent. Following the work of Bob Bright, this paper formalizes and expands upon a demonstration of the inconsistency of the two principles. Eliminating each of the emergence conditions is considered to resolve (...)
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  17. added 2017-03-03
    Wouldn't It Be Nice? Moral Rules and Distant Worlds.Abelard Podgorski - 2018 - Noûs 52 (2):279-294.
    Traditional rule consequentialism faces a problem sometimes called the ideal world objection—the worry that by looking only at the consequences in worlds where rules are universally adhered to, the theory fails to account for problems that arise because adherence to rules in the real world is inevitably imperfect. In response, recent theorists have defended sophisticated versions of rule consequentialism which are sensitive to the consequences in worlds with less utopian levels of adherence. In this paper, I argue that these attempts (...)
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  18. added 2017-02-15
    The New Modes of Contractarianism: A Critical Review. [REVIEW]Mark Phillips - 1988 - Reason Papers 13:208-216.
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  19. added 2017-02-09
    Comments on Paul Wierich's “Contractarianism and Bargaining Theory”.Craig K. Ihara - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:387-391.
  20. added 2017-02-09
    Review: Gauthier's Theory of Morals by Agreement. [REVIEW]Richmond Campbell - 1988 - Philosophical Quarterly 38 (152):343 - 364.
  21. added 2017-02-09
    Liberalism, Contractarianism, and the Choice of Liberties.Douglas B. Rasmussen - 1985 - Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy 7:26-36.
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  22. added 2017-02-07
    The Gauthier Enterprise.James M. Buchanan - 1988 - Social Philosophy and Policy 5 (2):75.
    I take it as my assignment to criticize the Gauthier enterprise. At the outset, however, I should express my general agreement with David Gauthier's normative vision of a liberal social order, including the place that individual principles of morality hold in such an order. Whether the enterprise is, ultimately, judged to have succeeded or to have failed depends on the standards applied. Considered as a coherent grounding of such a social order in the rational choice behavior of persons, the enterprise (...)
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  23. added 2017-02-03
    Pre-Emptive Violence: A Reply to Gauthier.F. S. McNeilly - 1972 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 15 (1-4):330 – 341.
  24. added 2017-02-02
    The Common Life: Ambiguity, Agreement, and the Structure of Morals.Burton Zwiebach - 1988 - Temple University Press.
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  25. added 2017-02-01
    Gauthier and the Capacity for Morality.Georgia Testa - 2003 - Res Publica 9 (3):223-242.
    In Morals by Agreement, David Gauthier tries to provide a justification of morality from morally neutral premises within the constraints of an instrumental conception of reason. But his reliance on this narrow conception of reason creates problems, for it suggests that moral motivation is self-interested. However, Gauthier holds that to act morally is to act for the sake of morality and others, not oneself. An individual who so acts has what he calls an affective capacity for morality. He attempts to (...)
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  26. added 2017-01-25
    Bargaining and Agreement in Gauthier's Moral Contractarianism.Edwin Etieyibo - 2013 - South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):221-233.
    Bargaining and distribution of benefits accruing from social cooperation are central topics in contractarian accounts of morality or distributive justice in general and David Gauthier’s Morals by Agreement in particular. In this paper, I raise some problems for MbA both with regards to bargaining over the benefits of social cooperation and the distribution of such benefits. The worries I raise piggyback on a couple of Jan Narveson’s earlier queries of some of the topics in MbA: those of ‘questionable foundation’ and (...)
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  27. added 2017-01-24
    On Not Making Ourselves the Prey of Others: Jean Hampton's Feminist Contractarianism. [REVIEW]Janice Richardson - 2007 - Feminist Legal Studies 15 (1):33-55.
    This article assesses Jean Hampton’s feminist contractarianism by considering the way in which she draws together the contradictory positions of Hobbes and Kant to produce a test for exploitation in personal relationships. The ways in which this work fits with her other analysis of retribution, gratitude and self-worth are examined. Hampton’s work is evaluated in the context of Carole Pateman’s argument that moral theories distract from the political analysis of who has a voice in relationships. Hampton’s work presumes the social (...)
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  28. added 2017-01-24
    B. Skyrms, Evolution of the Social Contract, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1986.Tim Kohler - 1997 - Complexity 2 (6):6-6.
  29. added 2017-01-21
    Book Review:Contractarianism and Rational Choice: Essays on David Gauthier's "Morals by Agreement." Peter Vallentyne. [REVIEW]Daniel M. Farrell - 1993 - Ethics 103 (2):385-.
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  30. added 2017-01-21
    Rationality in Agreement.Gilbert Harman - 1988 - Social Philosophy and Policy 5 (2):1.
    Gauthier's title is potentially misleading. The phrase “morals by agreement” suggests a social contract theory of morality according to which basic moral principles arise out of an actual or hypothetical agreement. John Rawls defends a hypothetical agreement version, arguing that the basic principles of justice are those that would be agreed to in an initial position of fair equality. I myself defend an actual agreement version, arguing that the moral principles that apply to a person derive from implicit conventions the (...)
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  31. added 2017-01-20
    Morals by Agreement.David Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
    Is morality rational? In this book Gauthier argues that moral principles are principles of rational choice. He proposes a principle whereby choice is made on an agreed basis of cooperation, rather than according to what would give an individual the greatest expectation of value. He shows that such a principle not only ensures mutual benefit and fairness, thus satisfying the standards of morality, but also that each person may actually expect greater utility by adhering to morality, even though the choice (...)
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  32. added 2017-01-17
    Playing Fair Game Theory and the Social Contract: Ken Binmore.Philippe Maître - 1994 - Journal de Economistes Et des Etudes Humaines 5 (2-3):429-436.
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  33. added 2017-01-15
    The Gauthier Contract: Applicable or Not?Jeremy Neill - 2017 - Res Publica 23 (1):1-22.
    In a 2013 article, David Gauthier noted upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Morals by Agreement that his contractarian approach to morality had found a niche among ‘some of those who remain unpersuaded by either Kantianism or utilitarianism’. In this article I will focus on Pareto optimization and I will argue that the Gauthier contract, even in spite of the article’s revisions, is still less useful for consultation purposes than Gauthier is assuming. To highlight the conceptual distance that (...)
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  34. added 2017-01-15
    Contractarianism and the Scope of Justice.Andreas Esheté - 1974 - Ethics 85 (1):38-49.
  35. added 2016-12-08
    The Benefits of Cooperation.Joseph Heath - 2006 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 34 (4):313-351.
    There is an idea, extremely common among social contract theorists, that the primary function of social institutions is to secure some form of cooperative benefit. If individuals simply seek to satisfy their own preferences in a narrowly instrumental fashion, they will find themselves embroiled in collective action problems – interactions with an outcome that is worse for everyone involved than some other possible outcome. Thus they have reason to accept some form of constraint over their conduct, in order to achieve (...)
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  36. added 2016-12-08
    Contractarianism and Rational Choice: Essays on David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement.Peter Vallentyne (ed.) - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
    David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement is the most complete and suggestive contractarian theory of morality since the work of Rawls. In this anthology a number of prominent moral and political philosophers offer a critical assessment of Gauthier's theory and its three main projects: developing a contractarian foundation for morality, defending a theory of rational choice, and supporting the claim that rationality requires one to keep one's agreements. An introduction sets out Gauthier's project, while Gauthier himself has the last word, responding (...)
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  37. added 2016-12-08
    Social Contract Theory and Ordinary Justice.James P. Sterba - 1981 - Political Theory 9 (1):111-112.
  38. added 2016-12-05
    Ethics for a Broken World: Imagining Philosophy After Catastrophe.Tim Mulgan - 2011 - Routledge.
    Imagine living in the future in a world already damaged by humankind, a world where resources are insufficient to meet everyone's basic needs and where a chaotic climate makes life precarious. Then imagine looking back into the past, back to our own time and assessing the ethics of the early twenty-first century. "Ethics for a Broken World" imagines how the future might judge us and how living in a time of global environmental degradation might utterly reshape the politics and ethics (...)
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  39. added 2016-09-29
    A New Debate on an Old Question. Introductory Note to 'Can the Social Contract Be Signed by an Invisible Hand'.Bernd Lahno - 2013 - RMM 4:39-43.
  40. added 2016-09-15
    Wittwer, Ist es vernünftig, moralisch zu handeln? [REVIEW]Fabian Wendt - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):279-280.
  41. added 2016-09-15
    Gaus, The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom and Morality in a Diverse and Bounded World. [REVIEW]Fabian Wendt - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (4):548-551.
  42. added 2016-09-12
    Ordering Anarchy.John Thrasher - 2014 - Rationality, Markets and Morals 5 (1):30-46.
    Ordered social life requires rules of conduct that help generate and preserve peaceful and cooperative interactions among individuals. The problem is that these social rules impose costs. They prohibit us from doing some things we might see as important and they require us to do other things that we might otherwise not do. The question for the contractarian is whether the costs of these social rules can be rationally justified. I argue that traditional contract theories have tended to underestimate the (...)
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  43. added 2016-01-05
    Eine Kritik an Norbert Hoersters Theorie der Normenvertretung.Vuko Andrić - 2010 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 64 (1):62-83.
    Norbert Hoerster has tried to show on the basis of what I call special and general interests that it is rational to endorse moral judgements. I argue that Hoerster’s attempt to vindicate the rationality of moral judgements fails. By appealing to special interests Hoerster can only establish the rationality of endorsing judgements that – by Hoerster’s own standards – are not moral judgements because they do not pass the test of generalization. While the appeal to general interests, on the other (...)
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  44. added 2015-10-22
    Kant on the Cheap.Thomas Scanlon & Alex Voorhoeve - 2001 - The Philosophers' Magazine 16:29-30.
    A short interview with Thomas Scanlon about his contractualist moral theory. (Note: A revised and expanded version appears in Conversations on Ethics, OUP 2009).
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  45. added 2015-09-21
    Review: Models and Reality-A Review of Brian Skyrms's Evolution of the Social Contract. [REVIEW]Martin Barrett, Ellery Eells, Branden Fitelson & Elliott Sober - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1):237 - 241.
    Human beings are peculiar. In laboratory experiments, they often cooperate in one-shot prisoners’ dilemmas, they frequently offer 1/2 and reject low offers in the ultimatum game, and they often bid 1/2 in the game of divide-the-cake All these behaviors are puzzling from the point of view of game theory. The first two are irrational, if utility is measured in a certain way.1 The last isn’t positively irrational, but it is no more rational than other possible actions, since there are infinitely (...)
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  46. added 2015-09-11
    Order Ethics or Moral Surplus: What Holds a Society Together?Christoph Luetge - 2015 - Lexington Books.
    This book questions the often implicit assumption of many contemporary political philosophers that a society needs its citizens to adopt some shared basic qualities, views, or capabilities. Christoph Luetge provides an alternative view, which relies on mutual advantages as the fundamental basis of society.
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  47. added 2015-09-08
    Uniqueness and Symmetry in Bargaining Theories of Justice.John Thrasher - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):683-699.
    For contractarians, justice is the result of a rational bargain. The goal is to show that the rules of justice are consistent with rationality. The two most important bargaining theories of justice are David Gauthier’s and those that use the Nash’s bargaining solution. I argue that both of these approaches are fatally undermined by their reliance on a symmetry condition. Symmetry is a substantive constraint, not an implication of rationality. I argue that using symmetry to generate uniqueness undermines the goal (...)
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  48. added 2015-09-08
    Reconciling Justice and Pleasure in Epicurean Contractarianism.John Thrasher - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):423-436.
    Epicurean contractarianism is an attempt to reconcile individualistic hedonism with a robust account of justice. The pursuit of pleasure and the requirements of justice, however, have seemed to be incompatible to many commentators, both ancient and modern. It is not clear how it is possible to reconcile hedonism with the demands of justice. Furthermore, it is not clear why, even if Epicurean contractarianism is possible, it would be necessary for Epicureans to endorse a social contract. I argue here that Epicurean (...)
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  49. added 2015-08-25
    Contractiarianism and Bargaining Theory.Paul Weirich - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:369-385.
    Classical bargaining theory attempts to solve a bargaining problem using only the information about the problem contained in the representation of its possible outcomes in utility space. However, this information usually underdetermines the solution. I use additional information about interpersonal comparisons of utility and bargaining power. The solution is then the outcome that maximizes the sum of power-weighted utilities. I use these results to advance a contractarian argument for a utilitarian form of social cooperation. As the original position, I propose (...)
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  50. added 2015-07-02
    Orthodox Rational Choice Contractarianism: Before and After Gauthier.Michael Moehler - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 15 (2):113-131.
    In a recent article, Gauthier rejects orthodox rational choice contractarianism in favor of a revisionist approach to the social contract that, according to him, justifies his principle of maximin proportionate gain as a principle of distributive justice. I agree with Gauthier that his principle of maximin proportionate gain cannot be justified by orthodox rational choice contractarianism. I argue, however, that orthodox rational choice contractarianism, before and after Gauthier, is still a viable approach to the social contract, although the scope of (...)
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