Moral Contract Theory and Social Cognition : An Empirical Perspective

Moral Contract Theory and Social Cognition : An Empirical Perspective


This interdisciplinary work draws on research from psychology and behavioral economics to evaluate the plausibility of moral contract theory. In a compelling manner with implications for moral theory more broadly, the author's novel approach resolves a number of key contingencies in contractarianism and contractualism.
Acting in accordance with principles that we could all agree to under certain conditions requires that agents are capable of taking up the perspectives of others. Research in social and developmental psychology shows just how challenging this can be. The author discusses in detail what implications findings on perspective-taking have for contract theory. He concludes with cautious optimism that, despite our limitations, it lies within our power to become better at perspective-taking and to adopt a contractarian or contractualist mode of moral thinking. This does however require us to be much more attentive to the standpoints of others than we tend to be.
Contract theorists also assume that agents can be moved to comply with principles that would be the object of agreement, with some arguing they can be so moved out of their own interest. The book show that, in contrast to the suspicion of many philosophers, this idea is largely supported by research on the dynamics of trust and our ability to distinguish trustworthy from untrustworthy others. Bringing a welcome dose of realism to the debate on contract theory, the author shows the value of assessing moral theories from an empirical perspective.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 1408878720
ISBN 13: 9781408878729

11 Jan 2019
Johann Hari

ISBN 10: 1408881683
ISBN 13: 9781408881682

22 Sep 2016
Elizabeth Gilbert

ISBN 10: 147213995X
ISBN 13: 9781472139955

11 Apr 2017
Carol Dweck

ISBN 10: 0061339202
ISBN 13: 9780061339202

08 Jul 2011
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

ISBN 10: 006124189X
ISBN 13: 9780061241895

06 Jul 2011
Robert B. Cialdini

ISBN 10: 1936891026
ISBN 13: 9781936891023

11 Jan 2012
Steven Pressfield

ISBN 10: 0752266276
ISBN 13: 9780752266275

04 May 2017
Corinne Sweet

ISBN 10: 0374533555
ISBN 13: 9780374533557

01 Sep 2017
Daniel Kahneman

ISBN 10: 1843106698
ISBN 13: 9781843106692

15 May 2008
Tony Attwood

ISBN 10: 0091816971
ISBN 13: 9780091816971

25 Sep 2018
Spencer Johnson

ISBN 10: 1501144324
ISBN 13: 9781501144325

19 Jun 2018
Matthew Walker

ISBN 10: 1409168506
ISBN 13: 9781409168508

11 May 2017
Allan Pease