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Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality

Nicholas Southwood


Contractualism has a venerable history and considerable appeal. Yet as an account of the foundations or ultimate grounds of morality it has been thought by many philosophers to be subject to fatal objections. This book argues otherwise. It begins by detailing and diagnosing the shortcomings of the main existing models of contractualism, ‘Hobbesian’ contractualism (or contractarianism) and ‘Kantian’ contractualism. It then proposes a novel, deliberative model, ‘deliberative contractualism’, based on an interpersonal, deliberative conception of practical reason. It argues that the deliberative m ... More

Keywords: contractualism, morality, Hobbesian contractualism, contractarianism, Kantian contractualism, deliberative contractualism, practical reason, moral accuracy, explanatory adequacy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199539659
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199539659.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nicholas Southwood, author
Oxford University and Australian National University