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Unformatted text preview: sor of Philosophy, Bergen Community College, SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORIES: POLITICAL OBLIGATION OR ANARCHY?, 1990, p.153. To sum up, the critics of contractarianism have successfully demonstrated the futile abstractness of this approach to political philosophy. From a hypothetical contract in a hypothetical situation one can only derive hypothetical obligations. Hypothetical obligations are not actual obligations, and a hypothetical contract is not a real contract. If the main idea behind the social contract tradition is to justify political authority, then contractarianism fails in achieving this objective. If political authority can indeed be morally justified, it must be justified either on utilitarian grounds, or on concrete considerations of justice, or on both, but not on hypothetical considerations. THE SOCIAL CONTRACT DISTRACTS/DISTORTS PROBLEMS OF JUSTICE AND INJUSTICE Robert Solomon, Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas, A PASSION FOR JUSTICE, 1990, p.61-2. Nevertheless, it does not take much critical imagination to realize how much the subject of justice has been distorted and overidealized by these philosophers. The very idea of founding a society (much less society as such) is so arrogant, so abstract and so distracting from the actual problems of justice and injustice that we should from the start be extremely suspicious of any theory of justice that starts by suggesting not a better but a different society or begins by pretending that society is unnatural and was formed by the rational agreement (for whatever reasons) of presocial individuals, as if we could, even in theory, momentarily retreat to that original position and renegotiate the basic terms under which we live. CONTRACTUALISM IS UNDERMINED BY THE REQUIREMENT FOR UNANIMITY David Boucher and Paul Kelly, Professors of Politics, University of Wales, THE SOCIAL CONTRACT FROM HOBBES TO RAWLS, 1994, p.18-9. Filmer went to great pains to expose the absurdity of contractarian arguments, and it is this aspect of his thought that is widely considered the most penetrating. If people are naturally free and equal, he...
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- Fall '13