A Hobbesian Derivation of the Principle of Universalization

Philosophical Studies 158 (1):83-107 (2012)
Abstract
In this article, I derive a weak version of Kant's categorical imperative within an informal game-theoretic framework. More specifically, I argue that Hobbesian agents would choose what I call the weak principle of universalization, if they had to decide on a rule of conflict resolution in an idealized but empirically defensible hypothetical decision situation. The discussion clarifies (i) the rationality requirements imposed on agents, (ii) the empirical conditions assumed to warrant the conclusion, and (iii) the political institutions that are necessary to implement the derived principle. The analysis demonstrates the moral significance of the weak principle of universalization and its epistemic advantage over the categorical imperative.
Keywords Hobbes and Kant  Homo prudens  Veil of uncertainty  Weak principle of universalization
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9673-2
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References found in this work BETA
Morals by Agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume - 1739/2000 - Oxford University Press.
A Theory of Justice.John Rawls - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press. pp. 133-135.
Evolution of the Social Contract.Brian Skyrms - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
The Scope of Instrumental Morality.Michael Moehler - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):431-451.
The Rawls–Harsanyi Dispute: A Moral Point of View.Michael Moehler - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
Rational Cooperation and the Nash Bargaining Solution.Michael Moehler - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):577-594.

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