Synthese 187 (1):65-93 (2012)

The Nash-Harsanyi theory of bargaining is usually taken as the correct theory of rational bargaining, and, as such, as the correct theory for the basic political contract for a society. It grafts a theory of cooperation to a base that essentially articulates the perspective of non-cooperative interaction. The resultant theory is supposed make clear how rational bargaining can fully realize the mutual gains that cooperation can make possible. However, its underlying commitment to the concepts of non-cooperative interaction renders this doubtful. I argue for an alternative theory—the theory of Full Cooperation—that avoids this difficulty. As applied to bargaining over the basic political contract, it calls for the selection of the most egalitarian of the Strictly Pareto-Optimal outcomes. This is essentially a version of Rawls’ principle of Justice as Fairness, but it is derived, unlike Rawls’ theory, without appeal to a problematic theory of individual decision-making behind the veil of ignorance. It also provides an alternative basis for what Hart calls the Principle of Mutual Restrictions, and what Rawls’ calls the Duty of Fair Play.
Keywords Cooperation  Rationality  Pareto conditions  Equality  Nash-Harsanyi bargaining
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-0032-4
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References found in this work BETA

Morals by Agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Are There Any Natural Rights?H. L. A. Hart - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (2):175-191.
Social Choice and Individual Values.Irving M. Copi - 1952 - Science and Society 16 (2):181-181.

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Citations of this work BETA

Rational Cooperation and the Nash Bargaining Solution.Michael Moehler - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):577-594.

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