Analysis 79 (1):103-105 (2019)

Authors
Michael Moehler
Virginia Tech
Abstract
In Minimal Morality, I develop a multilevel social contract theory that, in contrast to existing theories in the liberal tradition, does not merely assume a restricted form of reasonable moral pluralism, but is tailored to the conditions of deeply morally pluralistic societies that may include liberal moral agents, nonliberal moral agents, and, according to the traditional understanding of morality, nonmoral agents. The theory takes its main inspiration from the moral theories of Hobbes (1651), Hume (1739/1740), and Kant (1785, 1795, and 1797), and some of their contemporary followers, such as Rawls (1971) and Gauthier (1986). In its simplified form, the theory combines what I call traditional first-level morality with second-level pure instrumental morality and derives, in the form of the weak principle of universalization, a principle of conflict resolution that defines the minimal behavioral restrictions that are necessary to ensure, compared to violent conflict resolution, mutually beneficial peaceful long-term cooperation in deeply morally pluralistic societies. I argue that, despite its ideal nature, this theory is, in principle, applicable to the real world and, for the conditions described, most promising for securing mutually beneficial peaceful long-term cooperation in a world in which a fully just society, due to moral pluralism, is unattainable.
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DOI 10.1093/analys/any083
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References found in this work BETA

Morals by Agreement.David Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.

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