Moral contractualism

Philosophy Compass 4 (6):926-937 (2009)
Authors
Nicholas Southwood
Australian National University
Abstract
This article provides a critical introduction to contractualism as a moral or ethical theory, that is, as a theory of the rightness and wrongness of individual conduct – focusing specifically on the influential 'Kantian' version of contractualism due to T. M. Scanlon. I begin by elucidating the key features of Scanlon's contractualism: justifiability to others; reasonable rejectability; the individualist restriction; and mutual recognition. I then turn to discuss both its appeal and the main objections that have been raised to it – objections concerning our duties to the cognitively limited and impaired, aggregation, demandingness, normativity and explanatory adequacy. I conclude by mentioning some contractualist alternatives to Scanlon's theory.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2009.00256.x
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References found in this work BETA

The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Morals by Agreement.David Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
A Theory of Justice.John Rawls - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press. pp. 133-135.

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Citations of this work BETA

Contractualism for Us As We Are.Nicholas Southwood - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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