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Two Traditions of Social Contract Theory in the West:Contractarianism and Contractualism(PDF)

《南京师范大学学报(社会科学版)》[ISSN:1006-6977/CN:61-1281/TN]

Issue:
2016年02期
Page:
31-
Research Field:
哲学研究:西方伦理学研究
Publishing date:

Info

Title:
Two Traditions of Social Contract Theory in the West:Contractarianism and Contractualism
Author(s):
TAO Qin
Keywords:
moral agreement contractarianism contractualism
PACS:
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DOI:
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Abstract:
There are two traditions of social contract theory in the West. The one, known as contractarianism, has developed from Hobbes to Locke to Gauthier. According to this tradition, morality is the agreement reached by self-interested rational agents in a moral community through some sort of negotiation. The principle they follow in their negotiation is the one of prudence. The other, known as contractualism, has developed from Rousseau to Kant to Rawls and Scanlon. According to this tradition, morality is the agreement reached by equal and free agents who are motivated by “general will” or some common ideals, such as equality, rather than the prudential principle. Contractarianism seems to have more problems, because morality does not seem to be established only upon the prudential principle. Scanlon’s contractualism is more promising in answering the normative ethical question of “what makes an act morally right,” since he holds that what is right or wrong is ultimately determined by the principles that “no one could reasonably reject”.

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Last Update: 2016-03-15