social contract theory


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social contract theory

a theory of the origins and/or present basis of the STATE, which, in its simplest form, holds that the state arises from a ‘contract’ in which each member gives up his own ‘natural rights’ (see NATURAL RIGHTS AND NATURAL LAW) in return for new rights under the law (see also LOCKE, ROUSSEAU). Social contract theory does not apply to most historical cases of state formation, though it does apply to the foundation of new constitutions such as that of the US in 1787, which, in part at least, have been explicitly enacted under the guidance of social contract theory. Rather than as a straightforwardly explanatory or sociological theory, the historical role of contract theory is an ethical or logical theory, advanced to provide moral evaluation and reconstruction of existing constitutions, to justify revolutions, etc. See also JUSTICE, RAWLS.
References in periodicals archive ?
Second, the social contract theory legitimizes any contractual party's unlimited pursuit of self-interest in the name of contract.
Before going to link social contract theory with Islamic Bank to mitigate risk, it is worth to have to have a look on social contract theory.
While Malevil exhibits Rousseau's social contract theory in action, Into the Forest demonstrates a rejection of the social contract and a return to a Rousseau's state of nature.
Civil society has to be heard, heeded and respected, but they cannot be allowed to violate the social contract theory.
The conception of social contract theory can be traced to the origins of the field of philosophy.
Instead of reading Mendelssohn as an accommodator to German enlightenment mandates who simply traded Jewish autonomy for civil emancipation (as the story about Jewish assimilation and secularization is typically narrated), I suggest reading his Liberal social contract theory in light of contemporary feminist and critical political thought in order to gain a better sense of its distinctiveness, innovation, and importance.
For Nussbaum, this limitation of social contract theory gives us a reason to seek an alternative account of political justice.
Social contract theory forces the agents to interact in a way that brings benefits to the members of a society.
This match would further discussions of social contract theory by addressing race and gender in a way that complicates the notion of blackness.
Despite Locke's rhetoric, it was not Filmer's defense of absolutism, but rather Filmer's rejection of the social contract theory that most concerned Locke; this explains why Locke aimed his guns at Filmer's patriarchal absolutism rather than at Hobbes's more sophisticated social contract absolutism.
The argument for such a virtue, however, requires a very different vocabulary than social contract theory.