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.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
In order to investigate the structural aspect of this moral failure, we need to go back to the early political thoughts of the Enlightenment thinkers who first laid out the so-called social contract theory, which has indeed become the core functioning apparatus of the neo-liberalized global economy.
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.
A "pessimistic evolutionist" who never confused technical progress with moral progress, Jouvenel was the most lucid contemporary critic of social contract theory, a tradition that had forgotten the fundamental debts that human beings owe to their forebears and to the larger patrimony that is civilization.
For example, within social contract theory philosophical discussions have tried to illuminate what justice, fairness, and equity mean.
Social contract theory is mentioned, but little or no time is devoted specifically to the study of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, its Bill of Rights or the Federalist Papers.
The argument of the book is involved, but Nussbaum's challenge to liberal social contract theory (41) can be summarized with only limited damage to its structure.
Stockholder theory and stakeholder theory do not talk about the society; according to the social contract theory, agents are responsible for taking care of the needs of a society without thinking about corporate or other complex business arrangements.
Over the last two decades, the strongest contenders for addition to normative business-ethics theory have been a communitarian version of virtue theory, a feminist "ethic of care" theory, and integrative social contract theory. Social contract theory has proven to be the most influential, in part because of the timeliness of its explicit focus on international business.
Allen, Taking Liberties: Privacy, Private Choice, and Social Contract Theory, 56 U.