What Social Contract

After Rawls argued that any rational person who holds the original position and stands behind the veil of ignorance can discover both principles of justice, Rawls constructed perhaps the most abstract version of a theory of the social contract. It is very abstract, because instead of showing that we would have signed or even signed a contract to found the company, it rather shows us what we must be willing to accept as rational people in order to be constrained by justice and therefore to be able to live in a well-ordered society. The principles of justice are more fundamental than the social contract as it has traditionally been conceived. On the contrary, the principles of justice limit this contract and set the limits of how we can build society in the first place. For example, if we view a constitution as a concrete expression of the social contract, Rawls` two principles of justice describe what such a constitution can and cannot require of us. Rawls` theory of justice thus represents the Kantian limits of the political and social forms of organization that are permissible in a just society. Both considerations have been attacked in contemporary theories of social contracts, especially in the second. According to Buchanan, the key development of the new theory of the social contract was to distinguish the question of what generates political obligation (the main concern of the consent tradition in the thought of the social contract) from the question of which constitutional orders or social institutions are mutually beneficial and stable over time (1965). The nature of a person`s duty to respect the law or social rules is a matter of morality with respect to individuals (Rawls 1999, 293ff), while the design and justification of political and social institutions is a matter of public or social morality. According to Buchanan, a crucial feature of recent contractual thinking has been to focus political philosophy on public or social morality rather than individual engagement. Samuel Freeman recently pointed out how focusing on the third perspective – the citizen in a well-ordered society – shows the importance of real agreement in Rawls` theory of contracts. According to Freeman`s interpretation, the articles must meet the condition of the public. He (2007b:15) writes: According to the history of the prisoner`s dilemma, two people were interrogated separately about a crime they suspected of having committed.

The police have strong evidence of a less serious crime they committed, but they need a confession to sentence her to more serious charges. Each inmate is informed that if she cooperates with the police by informing the other inmate, she will be rewarded with a relatively light prison sentence of one year, while her cohort will go to prison for ten years. If they are both silent, then there will be no such rewards, and they can each face moderate penalties of two years. And if the two cooperate with the police by informing each other, the police will have enough to send them to prison for five years. The dilemma then is this: in order to best serve her own interests, each prisoner argues that no matter what the other does, she should cooperate better with the police by confessing. All the reasons: «If she confesses, then I should confess and be sentenced to five years instead of ten years. And if she doesn`t confess, then I should confess and be sentenced to one year instead of two. So no matter what she does, I should admit it. The problem is that if all the reasons are like this, everyone confesses, and everyone goes to jail for five years. However, if they had all remained silent and cooperated with each other and not with the police, they would have spent only two years in prison. Rousseau also analyses the statutes in terms of risk management[17], proposing the origins of the State as a form of mutual insurance. Rawls, as well as Gauthier and Buchanan, were sometimes attracted to such a reading.

Rawls (1999, 104) describes the argument of the original position as an invocation of «pure procedural justice» — the consultative situation is structured in such a way that all the principles it produces are just for their generation by the fact. However, his thoughtful position is that the result of the deliberative model is indicative (not constitutive) for the correct solution of the «question of justification» (1999, 16). [The social contract] can be reduced to the following terms: Each of us puts his person and all his power together under the highest direction of the general will; and in a body we receive each limb as an indivisible part of the whole. [15] Rousseau`s striking sentence that man «must be forced to be free»[16] must be understood [according to whom?] as follows: Since indivisible and inalienable popular sovereignty decides what is good for the whole, then when an individual falls back into his ordinary egoism and ignores the law, he will be forced to listen to what has been decided, when the people acted as a collective (as citizens). Thus, the law, to the extent that it is created by persons who act as a body, is not a restriction of individual freedom, but rather its expression. We could distinguish haggling from aggregation solutions. Instead of looking for a result that (roughly, as the Kalai-Smorodinsky solution does) divides the difference between different claims, we could try to aggregate individual rankings into a general social choice. Arrow`s theorem and the problems associated with social decision-making rules call into question any claim that a particular type of aggregation is only rational: all have their shortcomings (Gaus 2008, chap. 5). Harsanyi (1977, chaps. 1 and 2; 1982) developed a theory of contracts very similar to that of Rawls.

He argues behind a veil of ignorance in which people do not know their identity under the contract, and assumes that rational entrepreneurs will assume that they are equally likely to be a particular person. In addition, he argues that entrepreneurs can agree on comparisons of interpersonal benefits and will therefore opt for a contract that aggregates the benefit to the highest average (see also Mueller 2003, chap. 26). This, of course, depends on the assumption that there is an uncontroversial measure that allows us to aggregate the utility functions of the parties. Binmore (2005) follows Harsanyi and Amartya Sen (2009, Chapter 13) and argues that interpersonal comparisons can be made at least temporarily for aggregation purposes. However, one of the problems with this approach is that interpersonal comparisons, if incomplete, will not be able to produce a complete social order. As pointed out, this will result in a maximum set of alternatives where no alternative is dominated by another within the whole, but no particular alternative is optimal either (Sen, 1997). Instead of solving the problem of aggregation, interpersonal comparisons may only be able to reduce the number of alternatives without being able to complete the order of alternatives. The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau popularized the idea of the social contract in the 1700s, but it is equally applicable today. As members of a society, we accept the social contract – we cooperate with each other and obey the laws of society. We also give up certain freedoms because we want the protection that society can offer. The founders of the United States believed that the social contract made citizens powerful and gave them a collective voice in their government.

The state of nature is therefore not the same as the state of war as it is according to Hobbes. However, this can turn into a state of war, especially a state of war over property conflicts. .