American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various theories that justify moral principles or political arrangements by appealing to a social contract that is voluntarily committed to under ideal conditions for such commitment. Also called contractualism.
“The former, sometimes referred to as contractarianism, identifies the participants in the bargaining process with actual individuals, and thus is broadly historical.”
“Contractarianism -- The term "contractarianism" applies to theories that focus on self-interest; a contractarian justification for civil society would attempt to show that cooperation with government is interest of each citizen.”
“Two additional ideas are "contractarianism" and "contractualism" -- distinctive positions in moral philosophy that are respectively associated with David Gauthier and Thomas ( "Tim")”
“For example, libertarians who ground their position in moral contractarianism hold that we can be morally obliged to follow only those rules that would be agreed to by all rationally self-interested persons.”
“To address other feminists's worries about contractarianism excluding from bargains those from whom others do not expect to benefit in interactions, including typically the disenfranchised, Hampton modifies contractarianism by building in the Kantian assumption that all persons have intrinsic value and thus must have their interests respected.”
“Contractualism offers an alternative to contractarianism.”
“Under contractarianism, I seek to maximise my own interests in a bargain with others.”
“Until opponents of Rawls's contractarianism present an alternative argument for the principles of justice that is more persuasive and inclusive of all the relevant reasons bearing on justice, Rawls's original position should be regarded, not as redundant, but as essential to justification of the principles of justice (in so far as they are justifiable).”
“Jean Hampton criticized Hobbes in her book Hobbes and the Social Contract Tradition, in a way that has direct relevance to contemporary contractarianism.”
“The moral theory of contractarianism claims that moral norms derive their normative force from the idea of contract or mutual agreement.”
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