[hist-analytic] Reciprocity: Rousseau vs. Locke
Baynesr at comcast.net
Baynesr at comcast.net
Mon Jan 25 13:13:11 EST 2010
I thought I'd drop a note to the list. Business and other
matters have kept me from the list. Sorry. But I thought
I'd drop a note on one development in my project.
Some may recall our discussion of reciprocals. I was
attempting to tie this into a discussion of reciprocity
in Rawls and, more more generally, the social contract
philosophers. As it turns out Rousseau and Locke have
very different ideas on what a contract is, once you
figure in their, respective, understandings of reciprocity.
Rawls, I believe, is much closer to Rousseau. Locke is
very different. Again, the distinction can be drawn from
how they deal with reciprocity - recall here the two
examples from Lasnik's linguistic account.
The way I'm going to package this is to say there is
a divide between Locke and Rousseau that defines the
difference between "classical" and "nonclassical"
liberalism. Rawls is on this account non-classical.
"Liberalism" occurs twice here and is not, at this
point, an ideological lightening rod. But there are
implications for how a social contract philosopher might
deal with some of Popper's remarks in Open Society,
remarks that do carry ideological baggage.
I like Popper. He is a sane man writing during insane
times, but his way of thinking coheres well with Rawls
A more general problem for Rawls is how he borrows from
analytical philosophy. For example, his entire treatment
of crucial areas is dependent on what I think is an
improper application of "reflective equilibrium." Rawls
takes contract theory not as history but as a representational
device. Now once you attempt to codify the role of
reflective equilibrium beyond the "original position"
you can "see" Rawls "falling off a cliff." My intention
is to replace "reflective equibrium" in the discussion
of contract. The cardinal error of much political
philosophy is to see many issues as a contest between
convention and nature. Reflective equibrium for Rawls
concerns convention; for me, it concerns what I will
call nature, but actually obtains between what most
have described either as nature or convention. Recall
a contract is not a convention per se. (D. Lewis)
In any event, I think I have something different to say
about the Rousseau/Locke divide with respect to
reciprocity. If anyone knows of a literature detailing
the difference please let me know.
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