The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Social Contract

  • Peter Vallentyne
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_2616

Abstract

Social contract theory is a theory about how the moral assessment of actions, practices, institutions, laws, constitutions, or related items is based – directly or indirectly – on the consent – actual or hypothetical – of the members of society. Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant represent the main historical figures. Rawls, Gauthier, and Scanlon are the main contemporary figures.

Keywords

Buchanan, J. M. Consent Contractarianism Gauthier, D. Harsanyi, J. C. Hobbes, T. Individualism Interests Justice Kant, I. Locke, J. Natural rights Plato Rawls, J. Reciprocity Rousseau, J.-J. Social contract Veil of ignorance 

JEL Classifications

K0 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Vallentyne
    • 1
  1. 1.