Contractarianism and Rational Choice: Essays on David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement

Contractarianism and Rational Choice: Essays on David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement

by Peter Vallentyne
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521391342

ISBN-13: 9780521391344

Pub. Date: 02/22/1991

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement (1986) is the most complete and suggestive contractarian theory of morality since the work of Rawls. In this anthology, prominent moral and political philosophers offer a critical assessment of Gauthier's theory and its three main projects: to develop a contractarian foundation for morality, to defend a theory of rational choice,

Overview

David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement (1986) is the most complete and suggestive contractarian theory of morality since the work of Rawls. In this anthology, prominent moral and political philosophers offer a critical assessment of Gauthier's theory and its three main projects: to develop a contractarian foundation for morality, to defend a theory of rational choice, and to defend the claim that under many circumstances rationality requires that one keep one's agreements. An introduction sets out Gauthier's project, and Gauthier himself has the last word, responding to the critiques.

This stimulating collection could be used as a textbook for graduate seminars on contractarian theory.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521391344
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
02/22/1991
Pages:
339
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Notes on the contributorsxi
Biographical note on David Gauthierxv
1Gauthier's three projects1
Introduction1
Gauthier's moral methodology1
Gauthier's contractarian theory3
Gauthier's rational-choice framework5
The initial bargaining position6
The bargaining solution7
The rationality of complying with rational agreements9
Conclusion11
Part IGauthier's contractarian moral theory
Overview of the essays13
2Why contractarianism?15
3Two faces of contractarian thought31
4Gauthier's foundations for ethics under the test of application56
Deliberation58
Revolution64
Accumulation of exceptions66
5Contractarianism and the assumption of mutual unconcern71
6Moral standing and rational-choice contractarianism76
Rational-choice contractarianism78
Moral standing81
Moral standing in rational-choice contractarian morality83
Self-interest and moral standing90
Part IIMinimax relative concession and the Lockean Proviso
Overview of the essays97
7The Lockean Proviso99
Moralities and starting points101
Slaves, servants, and serfs102
The market as moral anarchy104
Prerequisites for social agreement106
Three rejoinders108
8Providing for rights112
9Gauthier on distributive justice and the natural baseline127
Introduction: Gauthier's contractarianism127
Gauthier on distributive justice129
Gauthier on predatory gains and the Lockean Proviso136
On the Hobbesian starting point144
Relations between states146
Summary147
10Equalizing concessions in the pursuit of justice: A discussion of Gauthier's bargaining solution149
11Gauthier's approach to distributive justice and other bargaining solutions162
Nash's bargaining solution163
The Kalai-Smorodinski solution168
Gauthier's maximin solution170
Concluding remarks175
Part IIIThe rationality of keeping agreements
Overview of the essays177
12Deception and reasons to be moral181
13Contractarianism and moral skepticism196
The skeptical problem: First account198
The contractarian solution200
Rational compliance and skepticism204
The relevance objection: Substantive impartiality208
The relevance objection: Archimedean impartiality212
Justification: Internal objections219
Justification: External objections224
The skeptical problem: Revised account225
14Deriving morality from rationality229
Introduction229
Gauthier's core argument for the rationality of compliance232
Comment on premises 1 and 2235
Does constrained maximization maximize expected utility?238
The alleged rationality of carrying out rational intentions244
The derivation of morality from rationality249
15Morality and the theory of rational choice254
The rational-choice framework255
Fairness and constrained maximization261
Fairness and bargaining262
Fairness and stability265
Broad and narrow compliance272
The arguments from rational and costless bargaining286
Conclusion289
16Closing the compliance dilemma: How it's rational to be moral in a Lamarckian world291
The compliance problem291
Substantive rationality297
Procedural rationality306
Morality316
Conclusion322
17Rational constraint: Some last words323
Bibliography331
Index337

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