Moral Contract Theory and Social Cognition: An Empirical by Peter Timmerman

By Peter Timmerman

This interdisciplinary paintings attracts on learn from psychology and behavioral economics to guage the plausibility of ethical agreement conception. In a compelling demeanour with implications for ethical thought extra largely, the author’s novel technique resolves a few key contingencies in contractarianism and contractualism.
Acting in keeping with rules that lets all comply with less than sure stipulations calls for that brokers are able to taking over the views of others. learn in social and developmental psychology exhibits simply how demanding this is often. the writer discusses intimately what implications findings on perspective-taking have for agreement concept. He concludes with wary optimism that, regardless of our obstacles, it lies inside our energy to turn into greater at perspective-taking and to undertake a contractarian or contractualist mode of ethical considering. This does notwithstanding require us to be even more responsive to the standpoints of others than we have a tendency to be.
Contract theorists additionally imagine that brokers could be moved to conform with rules that might be the thing of contract, with a few arguing they are often so moved out in their personal curiosity. The publication express that, not like the suspicion of many philosophers, this concept is essentially supported through examine at the dynamics of belief and our skill to differentiate reliable from untrustworthy others. Bringing a welcome dose of realism to the controversy on agreement thought, the writer exhibits the price of assessing ethical theories from an empirical perspective.

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Extra resources for Moral Contract Theory and Social Cognition: An Empirical Perspective

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It is important to emphasise that this does not imply that the contract test is a decision procedure that agents need to apply consciously whenever they make choices. As Mill already pointed out, behaviour may satisfy a moral standard without being based on it. A person may choose in conformity with principles that satisfy the contract test without choosing on the basis of it. However, a person is highly unlikely to consistently satisfy this standard if he is unable to assess whether his actions conform to principles that would be the object of hypothetical agreement.

But as these are situations in which I would be regularly put myself, I do not need to consider the perspectives of specific others to identify them. However, many moral principles also have implications for certain persons that a person applying the contract test would not experience herself if the principles were generally accepted. To clarify this, I should first note that a generic standpoint may be quite specific. A given principle may affect different individuals in very different ways, depending on their capabilities, aims, and the conditions in which they are placed, among other things.

12 More precisely, some of his phrases suggest he thinks persons already actually use it sometimes. Scanlon writes that his aim is to “characterize the method of reasoning through which we arrive at judgments of right and wrong” (1998, p. 2). When he gives his answer to this question later on in the book, he writes that “when we address our minds to a question of right and wrong, what we are trying to decide is, first and foremost, whether certain principles are ones that no one, if suitably motivated, could reasonably reject” (p.

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