Social Contract Theory

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Social Contract Theory

The theory that morality is a manifestation of the mutual consent of all persons involved in a society. For example, murder is wrong according to social contract theory because society has generally agreed that it would not be conducive to prosperous relations, and not because it is wrong in and of itself. Social contract theory is used in government as one of the foundations of the modern state. "Government by consent of the governed," one of the most fundamental ideas of democracy, has its origins in social contract theory.
References in periodicals archive ?
Implicit in the social contract is the idea that each party must give up something in the exchange.
Of course, there is nothing sacrosanct about any of the details of these social contracts.
As such, the social contract is a set of promises of the state to the citizen as well as promises of the citizen to the state.
But whatever the ethos, we will always need a social contract to make it work.
It is also unfortunate that Wraight dedicates relatively little space to setting up the social contract tradition of Hobbes that, as Helena Rosenblatt has persuasively argued, was defining the political battles in Rousseau's beloved Geneva of this time.
WHEREAS, the authority for the practice of nursing is based on a social contract that acknowledges the professional rights and responsibilities of nursing and includes mechanisms for public accountability; and
Buoyed by such prosperity, the auto industry pioneered the American model for the social contract between workers and their employers--from the $5 a day Henry Ford offered workers in 1914 to the health-care and pension benefits that became a mainstay of the expanding middle class.
For better or worse, the Declaration adopts a classic social contract view, in which individual rights precede duties and the aggregation of individuals, not some larger organic whole, is the basis of political community.
The laws, serving as a social contract between the government and its citizens, provide reasonable punishments for breaches of the social contract that, in effect, will deter deviant behavior.
What should education in Brazil and Latin America be like if it is to contribute to emergence of a new social contract, an alternative to the modern social contract?
Despite occasional calls for a vaguely defined "new social contract," much of Callahan's analysis is marked by the kind of hyper-economic myopia you'd expect from his Chicago School foes.
Further, there are different conceptualizations about justice--distributive, legal, and commutative--that are based on the social contract tradition that has prevailed among political philosophers from Hobbes, Locke, Kant and Rousseau to John Rawls and Robert Nozick.