Abstract
We share our world with many people who ignore the principles of justice and who regularly take advantage of others by breaching trust or breaking agreements. This dissertation is about the irrationality of the actions of these covenant-breakers. A covenant-breaker typically believes that unjust behavior is to his advantage and that only a fool would act in any other way. Would it not be disturbing if this were true? My central claim will be that adherence to the precepts of justice is a rational strategy for a self-interested actor. I intend to demonstrate that con men and covenant-breakers do not act rationally when violating an agreement. I will trace the concept of justice as it evolves through philosophical history and show that, while the concept of justice changes as the underlying concept of human nature and psychology changes, the argument in favor of the rationality of just behavior remains coherent throughout. Each historical interpretation will advance some form of the claim that the consistent observance of cooperative agreements is a rational strategy, and at each point an interlocutor will object. I will show that these interlocutors are mistaken. My motivating goal is to show that justice, understood as the consistent observance of cooperative agreements, is rational. I want to respond to the clandestine cheaters and other skeptics who believe that just behavior is for suckers, because, if the skeptics are right, and justice is indeed irrational, then those among us who are acting in a just manner are paying an unnecessary cost.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
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: 60,842
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Republic. Plato & Benjamin Jowett - 1894 - Courier Dover Publications.
Twilight of the Idols.Friedrich Nietzsche - 1968 - Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Twilight of the Idols.Friedrich Nietzsche (ed.) - 1997 - Oxford University Press UK.

View all 55 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Styles of Rationality.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2006 - In Susan Hurley & Matthew Nudds (eds.), Rational Animals? Oxford University Press.
Justice as Mutual Advantage and the Vulnerable.Peter Vanderschraaf - 2011 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (2):119-147.
Rational Cooperation and the Nash Bargaining Solution.Michael Moehler - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):577-594.
Uniqueness and Symmetry in Bargaining Theories of Justice.John Thrasher - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):683-699.
Why Exactly is Commitment Important for Rationality?Amartya Sen - 2005 - Economics and Philosophy 21 (1):5-14.
Why Exactly is Commitment Important for Rationality?S. E. N. Amartya - 2005 - Economics and Philosophy 21 (1):5-14.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-05-21

Total views
6 ( #1,087,533 of 2,438,906 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #434,842 of 2,438,906 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes