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  1. Moral Community and Moral Order.James Caton - 2020 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 13 (2).
    This work aligns James Buchanan’s theory of social contract with the structure of Michael Moehler’s multilevel social contract. Most importantly, this work develops Buchanan’s notions of moral community and moral order. It identifies moral community as the vehicle of escape from moral anarchy, where community is established upon a system of rules akin to James Buchanan’s first-stage social contract. Moral order establishes the baseline treatment of non-members by members of a moral community and also provides a minimum standard for resolving (...)
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  • 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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  • Morals From Rationality Alone? Some Doubts.J. P. Messina & David Wiens - 2020 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (3):248-273.
    Contractarians aim to derive moral principles from the dictates of instrumental rationality alone. But it is well-known that contractarian moral theories struggle to identify normative principles that are both uniquely rational and morally compelling. Michael Moehler's recent book, *Minimal Morality* seeks to avoid these difficulties by developing a novel "two-level" social contract theory, which restricts the scope of contractarian morality to cases of deep and persistent moral disagreement. Yet Moehler remains ambitious, arguing that a restricted version of Kant's categorical imperative (...)
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  • Diversity, Stability, and Social Contract Theory.Michael Moehler - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3285-3301.
    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, 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 moral diversity (...)
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  • Constructivism, Representation, and Stability: Path-Dependence in Public Reason Theories of Justice.John Thrasher - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):429-450.
    Public reason theories are characterized by three conditions: constructivism, representation, and stability. Constructivism holds that justification does not rely on any antecedent moral or political values outside of the procedure of agreement. Representation holds that the reasons for the choice in the model must be rationally explicable to real agents outside the model. Stability holds that the principles chosen in the procedure should be stable upon reflection, especially in the face of diversity in a pluralistic society. Choice procedures that involve (...)
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  • The Rawls–Harsanyi Dispute: A Moral Point of View.Michael Moehler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):82-99.
    Central to the Rawls–Harsanyi dispute is the question of whether the core modeling device of Rawls' theory of justice, the original position, justifies Rawls' principles of justice, as Rawls suggests, or whether it justifies the average utility principle, as Harsanyi suggests. Many commentators agree with Harsanyi and consider this dispute to be primarily about the correct application of normative decision theory to Rawls' original position. I argue that, if adequately conceived, the Rawls–Harsanyi dispute is not primarily a dispute about the (...)
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  • Contemporary Approaches to the Social Contract.Fred D'Agostino, John Thrasher & Gerald Gaus - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Justification, Coercion, and the Place of Public Reason.Chad Van Schoelandt - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1031-1050.
    Public reason accounts commonly claim that exercises of coercive political power must be justified by appeal to reasons accessible to all citizens. Such accounts are vulnerable to the objection that they cannot legitimate coercion to protect basic liberal rights against infringement by deeply illiberal people. This paper first elaborates the distinctive interpersonal conception of justification in public reason accounts in contrast to impersonal forms of justification. I then detail a core dissenter-based objection to public reason based on a worrisome example (...)
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