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On What MattersVolume Two$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572816

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199572816.001.0001

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Scanlonian Contractualism

Scanlonian Contractualism

(p.213) 22 Scanlonian Contractualism
On What Matters

Samuel Scheffler

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at Thomas M. Scanlon's Contractualist theory and his claim that his Contractualism gives an account of wrongness itself, or what it is for acts to be wrong. Scanlon should claim instead that, when acts are wrong in his Contractualist sense, that makes these acts wrong in other, non-Contractualist senses. He might, for example, claim that, when some act is disallowed by some principle that no one could reasonably reject, this fact makes this act unjustifiable to others, blameworthy, and an act that gives its agent reasons for remorse, and gives others reasons for indignation. Scanlon now accepts that his Contractualist theory should take some such form. According to him Impersonalist Restriction, in rejecting some moral principle, we cannot appeal to claims about which outcomes would be impersonally better or worse, in the impartial reason involving sense. This chapter also considers the Non-Identity Problem, the No Difference View, and the Two-Tier View, along with the implications of Scanlon's present view for future people. Finally, it explains why Scanlonian Contractualism should allow us to appeal to impartial reasons.

Keywords:   wrongness, Thomas M. Scanlon, Contractualism, reasons, Impersonalist Restriction, Non-Identity Problem, No Difference View, Two-Tier View, future people, impartial reasons

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