Contractualism's (not so) slippery slope

Legal Theory 18 (3):263-292 (2012)

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Abstract
Familiar questions about whether or how far to impose risks of harm for social benefit present a fundamental dilemma for contractualist moral theories. If contractualism allows objections by considering actual outcomes, it becomes difficult to justify the risks created by most public policy, leaving contractualism at odds with moral commonsense in much the way utilitarianism is. But if contractualism instead takes a fully form by considering only expected outcomes, it becomes unclear how it recommends something other than aggregative cost-benefit decision-making. Focusing on T.M. Scanlon's version, this paper develops this basic choice of interpretation and recommends the ex ante version. The paper explains how contractualism is inconsistent with John Harsanyibad aggregationgood aggregation” that is both unavoidable and fully appropriate in public life
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DOI 10.1017/s135232521200002x
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References found in this work BETA

Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls - 2001 - Harvard University Press.
Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.C. L. Ten - 2003 - Mind 112 (447):563-566.
Justifiability to Each Person.Derek Parfit - 2003 - Ratio 16 (4):368–390.
Can Contractualism Save Us From Aggregation?Barbara H. Fried - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (1):39-66.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Limited Aggregation and Risk.Seth Lazar - 2018 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (2):117-159.
Risking Future Generations.Rahul Kumar - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):245-257.
The Luckless and the Doomed. Contractualism on Justified Risk-Imposition.Sune Holm - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):231-244.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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