In this paper, we explore Cassirer’s view of social contract theory. We maintain that Cassirer has established a linguistic turn of social contract theory, by exploring the conditions for the possibility of a promise. For that purpose Cassirer’s theory of the linguistic sign, as inspired by the linguistic theory of Wilhelm von Humboldt, becomes decisive, because of its specific nature and direction into the future. First, in Section 1, we explore previous social contract theorists, from Nicholas von Cusa to Immanuel Kant. In Section 1, as a result, we establish the concept of the promise as the core concept of social contract theory, and as the fundamental philosophical problem conveyed by the natural lawyers. Moreover, in Section 2, we investigate the conditions for the possibility of a promise, and relate it to the symbolic nature of the human being. The promise, hence the capacity to enter into a contract, becomes a characteristically human activity, hence an expression of human dignity
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11196-006-9039-4
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,256
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Comment on Munoz-Dardé's'liberty's Chains'.Niko Kolodny - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):197-212.
Kant’s Theory of Contract.B. Sharon Byrd - 1998 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (S1):131-153.
Social Contracts and Corporations: A Reply to Hodapp. [REVIEW]Thomas Donaldson - 1990 - Journal of Business Ethics 9 (2):133 - 137.
The Idea of the Domesticated Animal Contract.Clare Palmer - 1997 - Environmental Values 6 (4):411 - 425.
Can There Be a Social Contract with Business?Paul F. Hodapp - 1990 - Journal of Business Ethics 9 (2):127 - 131.
Speech and the Social Contract.Roy Turner - 1985 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 28 (1-4):43 – 53.
Rethinking the Contract as Promise.Joon Seok Park - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 40:107-113.


Added to PP index

Total views
17 ( #594,279 of 2,419,600 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #542,420 of 2,419,600 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes