[hist-analytic] Rawls, Contract, and the Theory of Social Choice

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Sun Sep 5 13:30:54 EDT 2010

Apologies to Speranza for the late posting. I find no record of its submission but it obviously was. I agree with Speranza on Locke, but I find Hobbes far more provocative and interesting and must concur with Rawls that he was the best of the English speaking political philosophers, although there is reason to suggest, say, Mill, who's views I find undesirable but preferable to those of Rawls. 

Whether there is a difference between a social and a political contract is a fundamental question difficult to resolve. Following MacPherson over Warrender, I think there IS clear distinction, one that has the potential of eliciting considerable disparagement regarding the oversimplified treatment Hobbes has received. 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: Jlsperanza at aol.com 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk 
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 9:54:32 PM 
Subject: Re: Rawls, Contract, and the Theory of Social Choice 

In a message dated 8/30/2010 8:47:02 P.M., Baynesr at comcast.net writes: 
in my opinion he is a social contract theorist in name 


I would add that perhaps we should make the crucial distinction, 
'political'/'social' contract -- or even 'legal'/'moral'. This was pretty 
obvious in 
the earliest theories of contract. It was never clear what kind of 'pact' 
was at play. 

Incidentally, while I love Hobbes, my favourite 'pact' theorist seems to 

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