Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality

Paperback | November 6, 2013

byNicholas Southwood

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Contractualism has a venerable history and considerable appeal. Yet as an account of the foundations or ultimate grounds of morality it has been thought by many philosophers to be subject to fatal objections. In this book Nicholas Southwood argues otherwise. Beginning by detailing anddiagnosing the shortcomings of the existing "Hobbesian" and "Kantian" models of contractualism, he then proposes a novel "deliberative" model, based on an interpersonal, deliberative conception of practical reason. He argues that the deliberative model of contractualism represents an attractivealternative to its more familiar rivals and that it has the resources to offer a more compelling account of morality's foundations, one that does justice to the twin demands of moral accuracy and explanatory adequacy.

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From the Publisher

Contractualism has a venerable history and considerable appeal. Yet as an account of the foundations or ultimate grounds of morality it has been thought by many philosophers to be subject to fatal objections. In this book Nicholas Southwood argues otherwise. Beginning by detailing anddiagnosing the shortcomings of the existing "Hobbesi...

Dr Nicholas Southwood is a junior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford and an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Program at the Research School of Social Sciences at Australian National University. He works primarily in moral and political philosophy, with a particular focus on questions concerning practical reason and normativi...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:222 pagesPublished:November 6, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019966465X

ISBN - 13:9780199664658

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Limits of Hobbesian Contractualism3. The Limits of Kantian Contractualism4. The Structure of Deliberative Contractualism5. The Normativity of Deliberative Contractualism6. Getting Morality Right7. Grounding MoralityReferences

Editorial Reviews

"well worth reading ... a clear and worthwhile addition to the literature" --Alan H. Goldman, Mind