Politics, Philosophy and Economics 17 (2):119-147 (2018)

Gerald Gaus
Last affiliation: University of Arizona
This essay examines two different modes of reasoning about justice: an individual mode in which each individual judges what we all ought to do and a social mode in which we seek to reconcile our judgments of justice so that we can share common rules of justice. Social contract theory has traditionally emphasized the second, reconciliation mode, devising a central plan to do so. However, I argue that because we disagree not only in our judgments of justice but also about the degree of reconciliation justice calls for, the social contract presupposes a single, controversial, answer to the proper degree of reconciliation. In place of the social contract’s ‘top-down’ approach, this article explores the idea of self-organizing moral systems, in which each individual, acting on her own views of justice, responds to the decisions of others, forming systems of shared justice. Several basic agent-based models are explored to begin to understand the dynami...
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Reprint years 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1177/1470594X17719425
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References found in this work BETA

Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Morals by Agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

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Citations of this work BETA

Online Public Shaming: Virtues and Vices.Paul Billingham & Tom Parr - 2020 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (3):371-390.
Public Reason.Jonathan Quong - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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