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Minimal MoralityA Multilevel Social Contract Theory$
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Michael Moehler

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198785927.001.0001

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Rational Choice Contractarianism

Rational Choice Contractarianism

(p.41) 2 Rational Choice Contractarianism
Minimal Morality

Michael Moehler

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Hobbes’ and Gauthier’s moral theories that, from a methodological point of view, are the most important social contract theories for the development of the two-level contractarian theory. With regard to Hobbes’ moral theory, the chapter follows the orthodox interpretation of Hobbes’ moral theory that considers Hobbes to defend a purely instrumental approach to morality, because this interpretation of Hobbes’ moral theory is most relevant for the argument developed in this book. With regard to Gauthier’s moral theory, the chapter discusses both the initial statement of Gauthier’s moral theory in Morals by Agreement as well as the most recent version of Gauthier’s moral theory that de facto rejects orthodox rational choice contractarianism.

Keywords:   rational choice theory, contractarianism, Hobbes, Gauthier, morals by agreement

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