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phil ethics s r


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Moral contractualism - general definition

refers to a type of ethical theory-morality derives its normative force from the idea of contract or mutual agreement.

moral not god's law, or ind moral order-agreement essential feature of morality.

act w forbidden principles are, woul

Ways contractualists ellaborate idea of morality being essentially concerned with actual or hypothetical agreement - Hobbesian contractualism

H-m p are those that are in the ratinoal self interest of everyone for all to accept-each r person has s i r to be constrained by mp as long as others adopt as well


Ways contractualists ellaborate idea of morality being essentially concerned with actual or hypothetical agreement - Hobbesian contractualism

K-m (or sign part) consti by outcome of reasonable agree among equals that expr resp for each other as moral agents

each r person has concern reas recip drawn out and specified by agr

Value of this special relation of mutual respect underl

Underlying value of Kantian contractualism

living with others in relations of mutual respect

What are terms on which we can live with others so that we treat each other respectfully

C idea finding p's no one reasonable reject crucial element 

Contractualism essay - Objection - Rawls and Scanlon do not ellaborate this idea as well as another type of theory

underlying idea of pressing our claims against each other - the strength of our claims from our own perspective determines somehow which wins out - concerned with what all plausibly agree to when taken from our own standpoint

what we as group ag

Gauthier - characteristics of bargainers

those who can provide mutual advantage - not bargain with those from whom we do not stand to benefit

full information

mutually unconcerned-why think this? 

Contractualism -alternative to R and K - answer to objection about pressing claims

value of living with others in relations of mutual respect better ellab by what we as a group agree to by disc and delib from persp in which all presumed value each other and find pr that satisfy claims of all, not just our own.

Better model mora

Contractualism - Gauthier - Practical rationality - and aim of theory

defends self-i model r-agent p r iff max satisfaction of his preferences.

all r p have r reason to be moral-so canont include moral premises-so appealing to show any r person have reason to be moral

Gauthier - his basic view

mp are those r agents would agree to in certain choice situation

SOA all pursue si indpendently detrimintal to all-all have some reason avoid, but different reasons prefer different outcomes

Agents bargain for p's constrain pursuit si-s

Gauthier - bargaining agreement they would come to
A few possible bargaining solutions, one offered Nash and Harsanyi, but G prefers another - minimax relative concession - basic idea is that parties will choose the outcome that minimizes their grounds for complaint (in terms of rational self interest) fo
Gauthier - abide by its terms

Under certain conditions, r agents should acquire dispos to comply with terms of rat agreement - constrained maximizers

(1) enough agents disposed to comply

(2) character sufficiently transparent 

Scanlon - subject of theory
concerned with specific domain of morality, what we owe to each other
Scanlon's contractualism
an act is wrong if and only if any principle that permitted it would be one that could reasonably be rejected by people who were moved to find principles for the general regulation of behavior that others, similarly motivated, could not reasonably reject.
Gauthier  - problems
rationality-does not require place weight on oneself or others and why rat abide terms

Includes m prem-why not equality of reward or utility?

what if character not transparent

other values, moral mot 


Scanlon - main difference with article

There his formula concerned with people with an unexplained desire to find principles that no one could reaosnably reject

In book, people have reason to want act in ways that could be justified others, and when r person recognizes something as re

Scanlon - reasonable

idea presup body of info and range of reasons and makes claim about what these reasons in fact support

Most important reasons are those we al lhave to live on basis of principles that no one could reasonably reject. 

Scanlon - generic reasons

reasons enter assessment whether p can be reasonably rejected-r have in virtue of situation, charac gen terms-personal reasons, have to do with claims and status of that person, so include essential reference to myself


Advantages - Scanlon

Intuitive principles

Motivat-ideal being able justify actions to others-character relation of mutual recognition-value and appeal of which underlies our reasons to do what morality requires-relation appealing in itself

gives direct r concer

Scanlon-applying  formula

possible ps how one may act in C

ask any p permit X could be rr-Obj permis-idea burdens imposed if others permit X-obj prohib-idea ways others burden p forbidding X

Compare-if former, rr any p permit X, X wrong

If p per X not rr, X no

Scanlon - main problems

Reasons-independent standards, but in Kantian picture they come out of ppr

how weigh reaosns


Redundancy - what work is the formula doing of ultimately wrongness depends on reasons 

KOE does better 

Gauthier outline

efficiency model pr, aim of theory

Basic idea-bargain outcomes

Bargaining situation-parties and solution

Abide by terms?

Problems-eff model, moral cons, abide by terms, other values

Contract essay - outline

Basic idea-two types

KC best-underlying value is living with others in relation of mutual respect-gives content and justification for morality 

G not good

S better, but does not ellabor basic value as well as KOE 

Scanlon -  outline

Dom mor

SC formula-diff article, reasonable, g rs (personal)

Apply-obj perm (burdens others permit), prohib burden forbid X

ADV-moral intuition, moral motivation (ideal)

Probl-reasons, weigh, agg, circ, KOE
Rawls - TOJ - main aim

find POJ, which are supposed to specify fair terms of cooperation to govern the basic social, political and economic institutions of society

public charter-direct how basic rights and liberties, along with benefits and burdens of social life, dis

Rawls' limited project of justice
find POJ, govern basic structures of closed, well-ordered society that exists under reason fav conditions, that would be chosen by parties in the OP from among small set trad conceptions of justice.
Idealizing assumptions about society for which principles chosen

people who accept, know others accept, same POJ

normal and fully cooperating members

basic institutions eff regulated by PCJ

So injustice almost totally absent. 

Rawls - justification and methodology - OP

PCJ-object of a hypothetical agreement among free and ratioanl persons in an initial situation of equality, the OP.

OP-free and equal people who are ratioanl, mutually disinterested, VOI, basic facts social life primary goods

Reasoning in the OP to the two principles - basic

fundamental judg each person posses inviolability protects him having to sacrifice freedom to produce greater gains for society as whole

not stand for infringements on rights merely for economic gain, assign high, if not absolute, weight to basic

Rawls - primary goods
rights, liberties, income, wealth and self-respect
Principles chosen - TOJ

Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive scheme of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar scheme of liberties for others

s and e inequal ar to be arranged so that they are reason expec to everyone's advantage, atta

TOJ - Outline - Overview

Three parts exposition theory intended make a unified whole by supporting one anothe

Essentials theoretical structure-argued JAF

institutions duties and obligations it imposes on individu


Outline - TOJ - Part 1 - Theory

proj and limits-2p solut

ground rules for how argue-criterion of adequacy is RE

standp choose ps, reasons set up and that conclu is justice-pure pj and fair agre, and p's chosen

tentative effort extend duties and obl 

Outline - TOJ - Part II - Institutions

interp and specify abstract ps assess conseq for institu-lead j's find accept.

4 sequence-VOI lifted-OP, cons, leg, adm

Leg-toler, equal par, rule law 

work out as concp political econom modern state 

TOJ - Outline - Part 3 - Ends - Goodness as rationality

goodness as rat-justify prim g-thin theory-have properties rational for us to want given rat life plan-consist prin r choice (counting principles, inclusiveness and efficient means), chosen full delib r (facts and care)

if satisfy persons general

TOJ - Outline - Part 3 - Ends - Aristotelian Principle

Ar p-cp humans enjoy exercise realized capacities, increas more capac realized-account major desires

so gen r realize and train mature capac, constrained by principles of right-rp allows person flourish

with thin, acc cj of value

TOJ - Outline - Part 3 - Ends - Good person, moral worth and justice

Good person-has higher degree than average broadly based properties that it is rational for persons to want in one another

broadly based prop-rat want when viewed with respect almost any social role-virtue

TOJ - Outline - Part 3 - Ends - stability - justice as fairness and goodness as rationality are congruent

WOS-basic structure just and stable, members have app sense of justice and desire see instit affirmed

Rat each act on POJ only on ass others as well

so member WOS find wants others have virtue of justice-he wnats his and others plans to be

Rawls - definition of stability

once concep jus more stable if sense of j that it tends to generate is stronger and more likely to override disruptive inclinations and if institutions it allows foster weaker impulses and temptations to act unjustly.

Important feature 

Rawls - Outline - Part 3 - Justice is virtue
justice-strong, nor effect desire act on princ of right, is among broadly based properties
Rawls - outline - Part 3 - Outline - feasibility and stability of his JAF

GAR, Arist P explains main part of rlp

Virtues and justice as one (society helps realize potential)

Problem of stability

WOS stable (virtue justice), so congruence 


Rawls - Outline - Part 3 - congruence

c's ofWOS, does a person's rational life plan support and affirm his sense of justice

eff sense justice belong's persons good, so tendencies instability kept in check 

Changes from PL to TOJ - Main problem

JAF requir dem regime, RP longterm outcome of d and free inst

argument TOJ assumes that WOS of JAF, citizens hold same CD (parts Kant's comp liber)-P3 asks stable argues psychology lead citi WOS aquire sense justice

compr view not held

Changes TOJ to PL - Other two

TOJ has strong principles of freedom of thought and expression, so people as they are will inevitably disagree

JAF is partial comp doctrine, but the distinction between PD and CD not made there. 

Main Question of PL
How is it possible for there to exist over time a just and stable society of free and equal citizens, who remain profoundly divided by reasonable rel, phil, and moral doctrines
Main Question of PL - Two subparts, corresponding to two parts of the analysis

(A) What is most app COJ for specifying fair terms of coop among f and e, fully coop members of society over complete life, one gen to next.

(B) How can citizens, so conceived, given reasonable pluralism, maintain a just and stable dem society?&n

Reasonable Pluralism

Modern em s charac pluralism incompat yet reas comp doctrines

long-run result of powers of human reason in enduring background free institutions

not unfort condition, as pluralism may be-allow doctrines irrational, mad, aggressive 

Comprehensive Doctrine - PL

m, r, p conception of what is of value in human life, along with accounts of ideals of virtue, that are to inform much of our conduct and extends well beyond domain of political

full-all v+v in one precise sch

part-certain, loose art

Political Conception of Justice - three features

Subject-moral concep worked out for basic structure

Mode presentation-freestandin-offered as not, nor derived, CD applied basic structure-module, part fit in to various RCD-not util applied BS

Content-exp terms fund moral ideas implicit pub

Two parts of a PCJ

substantive principles of justice for the basic structure

guidelines of inquir: princpiles of reasoning and rules of evidence in light of which citizens decide whether subst prinviples apply and identify laws that best satisfy them 

PL -SubQuestion 1 - most appropriate PCJ specify fair terms of cooperation among citizens as f and e, normal f coop over complete life, one gen to next - Part 1 of TOJ - method

Look to culture for impl recogni ideas and principles-need way organizing

Aiming for general and wide reflective equi 

PL - SQ 1 - ideas found in PPC - Society and Social Coop

Society-fair system coop over time-not fixed natural order or justified by religion or aristoc values

Social coop-guided by publicly rec rules that people accept as regulating conduct-fair terms coop, charac PCJ, terms each reasonably accept if a

PL - SQ 1 - ideas found in PPC - Person

someone who can be a citizen, a normal and fully coop member society over complete life

Free-conception good, self-auth sources valid claims, take responsibility ends

Equal-minimum degree two moral powers 

PL - SQ 1 - Companion ideas of JAF - Original Position

help work out fair terms of coop for society-laid down by external authority (Aquinas), knowledge of indep moral order (Moore, Sidgwick)-rather, conceived as agreed to by those engaged in it sit fairly

VOI-elimin bargain adva from n+s contin, Par

PL - SQ 1 - Companion ideas of JAF - Conception of Political Justice

Two principles of justice

Public reason - principles of evidence and guidelines for inquiry for discussing moral questions and interpreting political rules in public forum 

PL - SQ 2 - How can society regulated by a political conception of justice remain just and stable? - Part 3 of TOJ - Problem of Stability

Suppose found and set up PCJ just and worth defending

given fact of RP, how frame defense so gain suff wide support to be stable? 

Some PCJ one CD to be realized by all members P, A, Aq, S, B-inst ju prom good

Othes allow plurali

PL - SQ 2 - Idea of a WOS

all accept and know others same PCJ

basic structures publicly known reg PCJ

citizens have normally effective sense of justice so generally comply with structures 

PL - SQ 2 - Reasonable Comprehensive Doctrine

R of p-offer abide by fair terms coop, reco burdens judgmen, sources r disa like complex evidence, weight of considerations vague

RCD-exercise conscient use of reason by re people covers major rel, phil m aspects human life in more less coherent

PL - SQ 2 - Reasonable Comprehensive Doctirine and political power
b/c of burdens of judgment and willingness abide by fair terms coop all can accept will think unreasonable use political power repress reasonable comprehensive views
PL - SQ 2 - Most reasonable PCJ will be liberal

Spec certain basic rights, liberties and oppo

assignment of special priori to those rights lib and opp above social interest

assuring all citize adequate all purpose mans make effective use of lib and opp 

PL - SQ 2 - overlapping consensus of reasonable comprehensive doctrine

hope find PCJ gain support of OC of RCD

JAF appeals to political values all share

First stage, JAF is presented freestanding

Now look for overlapping consensus, show how view can be supported from the pov of various comprehensive doct

PL - SQ 2 - not mere modus vivendi

do not want mere balance forces, where each agrees only bc in its interests and use political power coercively if given opp

ROC-object of consensus is moral, affirmed on moral grounds, will not withdraw support should political power change 

PL - SQ 2 - Idea of Public Reason - the problem

In light of what pr and ideals must citizens by vote properly exerci coercive political power, if doing so justifiable to others?

Lib pr leg-p power justifible only when exerci accord const essent all may reasonal expect endorse 

PV gr

PL - SQ 2 - overlapping consensus of reasonable comprehensive doctrine - examples

Religious doctrines lead to principle of toleration by principle of free faith that underwrites fundamental liberties 

Liberal (affirm or derive) PCJ on basis comp lib moral doct of Kant or Mill-K

PV norm outweigh nonpol 

PL - Outline

Changes TOJ, Question and sub


SQ1-PPC(Soc,  Soc coop,person), JAF(OP,2ps)

SQ2-Prob, WOS, RCD (pol power, lib), OLC (ex, not mv), PR (prob, sol)

PL - SQ 2 - Idea of Public Reason -  the solution

PV great values, so affirm public reason-gl inquiry, principles of reasoning and rules of evidence in light of which citizens are to decide whether subst principles properly apply and identify laws and policies best satisfy

f mat justic

Problems - PL and TOJ

Mostly good on own terms, but question starting point and relavance 


Is this right model for deciding terms we will all live by - pressing claims on each other, trying to get as much for ourselves as possible

Why PV st

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