[hist-analytic] David Lewis, Grice and Rawlsian Contracts

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Sat Jan 2 11:57:01 EST 2010

I haven't been able to reply to Speranza on a couple of occasions. 

This post goes part way to explaining why, aside from getting the 

final touches on the Anscombe book. 

As a result of an interesting and provocative discussion, I 

turned my attention, recently, to Rawls . In particular to a comparison 

of Rawlsian contract theory and that of Hobbes. I've decided to do an 

extended work on Rawls , Popper and Ronald Dworkin . My aim 

is, among other things, to state my case against Rawls on contract. 

Now an interesting development, one that may particularly interest JL , 

is that there is an extended discussion of Grice on "Meaning" in 

David Lewis's stimulating work _Convention : A Philosophical Study_ . 

Now I haven't looked at this closely, because I'm still thinking about 

Lewis's views on conventions vs. contracts. It occurred to me that there 

is a connection here to Dworkin's criticisms of H. L. Hart on the nature 

of law. What I'm fiddling with is the difference between normative and 

nonnormative conventions in connection with this distinction between 

 laws and contracts. I will probably end up rejecting contract theory as 

well as utilitarianism. My predilection is for "perfectionist" views in 

ethics but the material on this is sparse and obscure. 

What I'm doing is tackling Rawls on contract on economic doctrine. 

My own position , generally, is that of Joseph Schumpeter with some 

"upgrading" based on the economist, Baumol , and others. Rawls is 

deliciously vulnerable, but more deliciously insightful on these matters. 

Dworkin (Ronald), I keep reading and every new look contains a new 

insight. The matter of the "hard case" in law really has some nice 

aspects amenable to recent work on mind. We'll see. Anyway, JL might 

be looking at some postings on Lewis and Grice . 

I might begin with an attack on Lewis based on a nonsequitur  related 

to reciprocity which I think occurs in his book on convention, reciprocity 

it may recalled is an essential element in Rawlsian contract theory. 


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