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Part of Elements in Ethics

  • Publication planned for: January 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2020
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108713313

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About the Authors
  • This Element provides a systematic defense of moral contractarianism as a distinct approach to the social contract with particular relevance for morally diverse societies. In modern philosophy, the position of moral contractarianism has been advanced most notably by Hobbes (1651), Hampton (1986), Kavka (1986), Gauthier (1969, 1986), and Moehler (2018a). This Element elucidates, in comparison to moral conventionalism and moral contractualism, the distinct features of moral contractarianism, its scope, and conceptual and practical challenges that concern the relationship between morality and self-interest, the problems of assurance and compliance, rule-following, counterfactualism, and the nexus between morals and politics. In addition, the Element offers a qualified defense of the use of formal methods, such as decision theory and game theory, in moral philosophy. The Element argues that, if appropriately conceived, moral contractarianism is conceptually coherent, empirically sound, and practically relevant, and has much to offer to contemporary moral philosophy.

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: January 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108713313
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The state of nature and social moral order
    3. Moral principles and decisions
    4. A reconciliation of contractarian moral theory

  • Author

    Michael Moehler
    Michael Moehler is Director of the Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Virginia Tech. In addition, he is a Core Faculty Member of the ASPECT Program and an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Economics at Virginia Tech. His main research interests lie in moral and political philosophy, with a specific focus on the contractarian tradition. He is author of Minimal Morality: A Multilevel Social Contract Theory (2018).

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